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Kew at Work Gallery

Choose from 341 images in our Kew at Work collection.


The Kew Gardens Question Featured Kew at Work Image

The Kew Gardens Question

The Kew Gardens Question. This political cartoon was published in 1878 as part of the ongoing debate as to whether the public should be allowed into the gardens in the mornings, before 1pm. Officially, only botanist and botanical artists were allowed morning access, with the Director's permission. The Kew Gardens Public Rights Defence Association was set up and successfully campaigned against this. The author of the article accompanying this cartoon smuggled himself into a morning session at the Gardens and claimed that those eminent botanists inside were mostly fast asleep in garden chairs and other gentlemen were "engaged in testing the effects of cigar smoke on open-air evergreens."

© RBG KEW

Henry Ridley and rubber tree, Singapore Featured Kew at Work Image

Henry Ridley and rubber tree, Singapore

Extension of original cutting on an old Para rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis - Henry Ridley ('Rubber Ridley') and rubber tree, tapped for latex. HNR/1/2/6/3 Henry Ridley was director of the Singapore Botanic Garden from 1888 to 1911. Through his expertise and ecouragement, and with rubber trees that had been trees sent from Kew in 1877, the Malaysian rubber plantation industry was established. Today most of the world's rubber comes from plantations in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia

© The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Wardian Case Featured Kew at Work Image

Wardian Case

The Wardian case is a portable airtight, glass-lined greenhouse that was developed by Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward (1791-1868) for the transportation of plants. The Wardian case revolutionised botany in the 19th century, allowing live plants to be transported across the globe. The airtight design meant that that plants stored inside were protected from smoke and pollution

© RBG KEW