How do we use small-scale equipment to evaluate process options and create prototype samples? How do we identify the best process alternatives to commercialize our new product ideas?

In the early 1830s, there was a great surge of interest in creating products from latex rubber in both the United States and Europe. Rubber was a miracle polymer from South America that outperformed leather, oil-impregnated fabrics, waxes, and tars in many flexible waterproofing, gasket, and sealing applications. New companies were formed and astonishing products were launched in an effort to be the first to market. The rubber boom of this period was very similar to the Internet bubble of the late 1990s, including the resulting crash.