Bamboo has a tensile strength superior to mild steel (withstands up to 52,000 pounds of pressure psi) and a weight-to-strength ratio surpassing that of graphite, bamboo is the strongest growing woody plant on earth. There is a suspension bridge in China 250 yards long, 9 foot wide and rests entirely on bamboo cables fastened over the water. It doesn’t have a single nail or piece of iron in it. Used in ladders, scaffolding and construction, bamboo is twice as stable as oak, walnut and teak.
Thomas Edison’s first successful incandescent lamp (light bulb) used a filament made of carbonized bamboo. It was patented in 1880. This light bulb still burns today in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.
Alexander Graham Bell used bamboo for the first phonograph needle.
Bamboo has thousands of uses including airplane “skins”, aphrodisiacs, blinds, brushes, crafts, desalination filters, diesel fuel, fly-fishing poles, food, furniture, medicine, musical instruments, ornaments, paper, rope, scaffolding, umbrellas, walking sticks, wind chimes and many, many, more. They even make beer from bamboo and yes apparently it tastes good.
Currently there are some 1250 known species of bamboo with an estimated 1 billion people living in bamboo constructed homes. Bamboo is an enduring natural resource and provides income, food, and housing to over 2.2 billion people worldwide.