OF RUBBER BALLS
Ever wondered who invented rubber balls?
The Olmec, the earliest known major civilization in Mexico, were the first people to produce and play with rubber balls. The name Olmec means "rubber people" in Nahuatl, the Aztec language. The Olmec, whose culture thrived from 1700 B.C. to 400 B.C., manufactured different objects fashioned from rubber, including balls.
A rubber ball dating back to 1000 B.C. has been found in the Olmec site of La Venta, located in the present-day Mexican state of Tabasco. Historians believe that these rubber balls were light and bounced quite high. The word "Olmec" also refers to the rubber balls that were used for an ancient ball game that the Olmec created.
from the Olmecs, the Mayans and Aztecs also made solid rubber balls that were
used for playing team sports on huge ball courts. The Codex Mendoza, an Aztec
book of accounts, has even listed over 16,000 rubber balls being paid by the
coastal provinces to the Aztec emperor.
Clancy's comment: Interesting. So often we take things for granted.