A Brief History of Tyres (Top 6 Premium)
Tyres. Without them, you won’t be going anywhere. Tyres are the single most important component for any car and a good set of tyres should keep you on the road for approximately 15,000 miles / 3 years. But like any good pair of boots or shoes, they need looking after.
The Big Bang for tyres could be pinpointed at the invention of the wheel. Just like the real Big Bang, we can’t tell exactly when it happened but we do know that through a process of evolution, the tyre ‘evolved’ into what it is today.
The big 6 listed in chronological order of inception:
Founded in 1871 in Hanover, Germany, Continental - Caoutchouc started out producing soft rubber products and solid tyres for carriages and bicycles. They now employ 212,000 worldwide.
Founded in 1872 in Milan, Italy - Pirelli started out producing Scuba diving rebreathers and thereafter tyres and cables for telecommunications. They now employ 36,753 worldwide.
Founded in 1889 in Clermont-Ferrand, France - The Michelin Brothers ran a rubber factory and one day a cyclist needed a tyre repair which prompted the brothers to design their own - one which didn’t require glue (Hard removal of the tyre typically took 3 hours from being glued on) and so they patented the first non-glue, removable pneumatic tyre. They now employ 111,200 worldwide.
GOODYEAR: Founded in 1898 in Ohio, U.S.A. - Goodyear started out with 13 employees manufacturing bicycle and carriage tyres, horseshoe pads and poker chips. They now employ 67,000 worldwide.
DUNLOP: Founded in 1889 - Dunlop Rubber started out making various rubber goods and products. The single most important event in the history of tyres was when Scottish born John Boyd - Dunlop re-invented the pneumatic tyre into what are typically the same tyres we use today, all from his back yard in Belfast.
The first Bridgestone Tyre was produced in 1930 by the Bridgestone Japanese Tabi Socks Division (Japanese traditional sock makers) in anticipation of the potential of tyre manufacturing. The project proved a success and Bridgestone Tyres was formed as a separate division in 1931. They now employ 139,822 worldwide.