The commercialization of tagua in Ecuador began around 1865 with a first shipment to Germany, where the use of this product in the manufacture of high quality buttons for high fashion clothing was discovered.
The powerful Casa Tagua Alemana, exclusive supplier for Europe and the rest of the world for more than 50 years, discovered in America a great source of supply, a finding that led to the establishment of collection centers along the Ecuadorian coasts from where it was transported. material aboard merchant sailing ships that sailed from Ecuador through the Strait of Magellan, advancing along the African coasts and finally disembarking in Hamburg.
The discovery of the Germans around the exuberant Ecuadorean tagua mine is a secret that was carefully guarded during all these years, resulting in a period of monopoly due to the mistaken belief that vegetable ivory had the same origin as ivory animal the African Continent.
Two events of great importance during the second decade of the twentieth century changed the landscape of the negotiators in the history of the tagua: the first was the invention of mechanically propelled boats by propellers, which displaced the old ships driven by the wind; and the second was the opening of the Panama Canal, which opened the doors of the new continent to the world. Consequently, the Ecuadorian tagua was available to all producers, who exploited these resources and invaded the market with elaborate buttons whose quality was imposed with absolute leadership over the use of any other material for this application in the world market.
During the Second World War, this product was used in the manufacture of industrial clothing and by the US Navy. The tagua was already used 200 years before in the elaboration of religious figures, pipes, chess games, etc.