Wardian Case

Gaspard Duché de Vancy: Boxes for the sea transport of plants, Aquarell 1735, manuscript Ms. 1546/14.
Courtesy the Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris

The British naturalist and biopirate Henry Wickham smuggled 70,000 rubber seeds from Amazonia to London. At Kew Gardens, the botanical gardens in London, he succeeded in raising 2,000 seedlings. These seedlings were transferred to British plantations in Southeast Asia and Africa. In this way, England was able to secure its industrial demand for rubber.