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INDUSTRIES: Business History of Rubber
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April 29, 1813 - Jacob Frederick Hummel, of Philadelphia, PA,  received a patent for a "Varnish of Elastic Gum to Render Water Proof"; rubber.

1820 - Thomas Hancock invented the "masticator", first machine specifically designed for processing of rubber; if strongly processed (masticated), rubber became plastic, could be made to flow, developed method of milling rubber; supplied Charles Macintosh with masticated rubber (named "Pickled" rubber) to produce macintosh coats; 1837 - received British patent for mastication process;  November 21, 1843 - received  British patent for 'vulcanisation' process for rubber (14 patents between 1820-1847).

May 30, 1821 - James Boyd, of Boston, MA, received a patent for a "Fire Engine Hose"; fire hose of cotton web lined with rubber (to replace riveted leather hose which dried out, cracked, burst from excessive pressure); improved hose - 40 to 50 feet in length, weighed more than 85 pounds with the couplings; hose oilers were developed to keep the leather supple and pliable; 1871 - Cincinnati Fire Department used B.F. Goodrich Company's new rubber hose reinforced with cotton ply.

June 17, 1837 - Charles Goodyear received first patent for "Improvement in the Process of Divesting Caothchouc, Gum-Elastic, or Inida Rubber of Its Adhesive Properties, and also of Bleaching the Same, and thereby Adapting It to Various Useful Purposes"; resolved to solve problem of india-rubber's melting in summer heat; devised process to treat India rubber with metallic solutions such as copper nitrate and strong acid for a few minutes, followed by washing with water; process treated rubber on the surface and below the surface to a useful condition; patent explained method and use of water paste of quicklime to bleach rubber for which he listed various new purposes; obtained additional patents to revise process by using sulphur and oil of turpentine.

March 9, 1844 - Charles Goodyear, of New York, NY received a patent for "India-Rubber Fabric" ("Corrugated or Shirred India-Rubber the stretching of strips, or threads, of india-rubber to such extent as may be desired"); received a second patent for "Improvement in India-Rubber Fabrics"; June 15, 1844 - Charles Goodyear received patent for "An Improvement in India-Rubber Fabrics" - method of treating india rubber so that it would lose its adhesiveness and susceptibility to extremes of heat and cold;  accidentally dropped a mixture of natural rubber and powdered sulphur on a hot stove in Woburn, MA; heat completed the vulcanization process.

March 17, 1845 - Stephen Perry of London, owner of rubber manufacturing company Messers Perry and Co., received patent for the rubber band; first made from vulcanized rubber.

December 10, 1845 - Civil engineer Robert W. Thompson received a British patent for world's first pneumatic tires (carriage wheels with inflated tubes of heavy rubber stretched around their rims); became popular on horse-drawn carriages, later prevented the first motorcar passengers from being shaken to pieces.

May 8, 1847 - Robert W. Thomson, of Adelphi, Middlesex, England, received first U.S. patent for a "Carriage Wheel" ("improvement in carriage wheels"); rubber tires; application of elastic bearings around rims of carriage wheels; June 10, 1846 - received British patent.

September 1856 - Henry Lee Norris, Spencer Thomas Parmelee established Norris & Co. in Edinburgh, Scotland to manufacture Indian rubber overshoes  footwear, boots based on rubber patent of Charles Goodyear (had acquired Castle Silk Mills); September 1857 - registererd North British Rubber Company as limited liability company; expanded production to range of rubber products (tyres, conveyor belts, combs, golf balls, hot water bottle, rubber flooring); 1870 - succeeded by William Erskine Bartlett (received a British patent on October 21, 1890 for beaded edge tires - could hook securely to wheel's rim to remain firmly attached by compressed air in tire; patent acquired in 1907 by British Dunlop tyre company); WW I - manufactured 1,185,036 pairsch boots to cope with Army's demands for sturdy boot suitable for conditions in flooded trenches; WW II - supplied vast quantities of wellingtons and thigh boots; 1946 - acquiried Heathhall, extensive factory in Dumfriesshire (built in 1912 to manufacture car, aeronautical engines); 1958 - introduced Green Hunter and Royal Hunter wellingtons; 1966 - renamed Uniroyal Limited; 1978 - sold golf ball production business; was sold off; tyre factory at Newbridge near Edinburgh acquired by Continental; 1986 - Uniroyal acquired by The Gates Rubber Company Limited (Denver, CO); name changed to The Gates Rubber Company Ltd.; 1996 - Consumer and Industrial Division of Gates acquired by Tomkins PLC of London; May 2002 - Hunter Boot Ltd. became Hunter Division of Interfloor Group Limited (formed by Rutland Fund Management Limited; Europe’s leading manufacturer of underlays for carpets, laminated flooring); sold in 2004 to MBI Fortis Bank NV, GLE Development Capital Ltd; renamed Hunter Boot Ltd.; April 2006 - filed for bankruptcy protection; acquired by consortium led by Conservative party treasurer Jonathan Marland, Peter Mullen, shirt maker Thomas Pink, private investor Julian Taylor, Pentland Group.

1869 - Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich with J.P. Morris became largest stockholder in Hudson River Rubber Company in New York for $5,000.00 under a license agreement with Charles Goodyear; 1870 - established first rubber company west of the Allegheny Mountains (Akron, Ohio); December 31, 1870 - began partnership, Goodrich, Tew Company; February 19, 1871 - began making such rubber products as fire hoses, industrial belts and bicycle tires; March 1871 - opened Akron Rubber Works with 20 workers; 1880 - B.F. Goodrich (Benjamin F.) Company incorporated; September 24, 1907 - registered "Goodrich" trademark first used January 1, 1894 (pneumatic tires made wholly or partly of rubber or having rubber incorporated therewith); 1961 - company exited tire industry, focused on aerospace, performance materials.

1872 - Giovanni Battista Pirelli established Pirelli SpA in Milan.

1888 - John Boyd Dunlop, Harvey Du Cros established Pneumatic Tyre and Booth's Cycle Agency Ltd in Dublin, Ireland (Dunlop, Scottish veterinarian, had devised, fitted rubber air tubes held on to wooden ring in 1887; tacked linen covering around wheels as major improvement in riding comfort); December 7, 1888 - received British patent for "An Improvement in Tyres of Wheels for Bicycles, Tricycles or other Road Cars" (Robert William Thomson had earlier patent for "carriage wheels" with pneumatic tire, there was little demand for it in his lifetime, was forgotten); pneumatic tire (rubber tube filled with air); 1889 - first used Dunlop Rubber Company name for private company created to serve as manufacturing unit for founder company; 1890 - began commercial production; 1893 - name changed to Pneumatic Tyre Company Limited; 1894 - Dunlop joined Tubeless (Fleuss) Pneumatic Tyre Company, competitor; 1896 - Dunlop patents acquired by du Cros for £3000; original company name changed to Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company Limited; Byrne Bros., financed by Du Cros, went public as Rubber Tyre Manufacturing Company (Birmingham, UK business produced general rubber goods); 1901 - acquired by Du Cros; name changed to Dunlop Rubber Company Limited; 1912 - acquired original company; 1912 - acquired original company ; 1913 - original company name changed to Parent Tyre Company Limited; 1931 - founder company went into liquidation.

John Boyd Dunlop

1887 - Colonel Samuel Pomeroy Colt appointed receiver for bankrupt National Rubber Company of Bristol, RI; manufactured variety of rubber goods (rubber boots, shoes); 1888 - reorganized as National India Rubber Company; acquired controlling interest in several smaller companies; 1892 - consolidated holdings with fledgling U.S. Rubber Company in Naugatuck, CT; became United States Rubber Company; largest manufacturer of rubber goods in world; 1896 - one of 12 original industrial stocks in first Dow Industrial average; 1901 - Colt president (Chairman in 1918); January 2, 1917 - registered "Keds" trademark first used July 14, 1916 (rubber, leather, and fabric boots and shoes); 1961 - name changed to Uniroyal Inc.; September 10, 1963 - registered "Uniroyal" trademark first used September 5, 1962 (rubber adhesives); August 1986 - merged with tire division of B.F. Goodrich Company in joint venture private partnership, became Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company (Goodrich held 50% interest); June 1988 - Goodrich stake acquired for $225 million. by Clayton & Dubilier, Inc.; May 1990 - acquired by Michelin Group for about $1.5 billion.

Samuel Pomeroy Colt - United States Rubber (

June 2, 1891 - John Boyd Dunlop, of Belfast, Ireland received a patent for a "Tire for Vehicle-Wheels" ("pneumatic or inflated tires for the wheels of velocipedes and other vehicles").

May 28, 1889 - Andre and Edouard Michelin began manufacturing rubber bicycle tires (1886 - had taken over failing family agricultural goods business in small central French town of Clermont-Ferrand in Auvergne region of France); September 11, 1891 - Edouard Michelin received a French patent (received U. S. patent on May 16, 1893) for a "Pneumatic-Tire" ("comprises two distinct and independent permit the rapid removal of the exterior tire for the purpose of changing or repairing the air chamber in case of its becoming broken or deteriorated"); detachable tire; 1898 - introduced 'Michelin Man' (known as Bibendum in rest of world; by Marius Rossillon O'Gallop, well-known illustrator); 1900 - introduced Michelin Guide as motorist's guide (included driving distances, locations of gas stations, hotels, spare parts, repair services).

June 2, 1891 - John Boyd Dunlop, of Belfast, Ireland received a patent for a "Tire for Vehicle-Wheels" ("pneumatic or inflated tires for the wheels of velocipedes and other vehicles").

1892 - Nine rubber companies in Naugatuck, CT consolidated operations, founded U. S. Rubber Company; May 26, 1896 - included in twelve industrial manufacturing stocks in Dow Industrial average created by Charles Dow (until 1930); 1961 - name changed to Uniroyal Inc.; September 10, 1963 - registered "Uniroyal" trademark first used September 5, 1962 (rubber adhesives); August 1986 - merged with B.F. Goodrich Company, became Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company; June 1988 - Goodrich sold its 50% stake for $225 million to group of investors led by Clayton & Dubilier, Inc., private equity firm; May 1990 - acquired by Michelin Group for $1.5 billion.

June 7, 1892 - John F. Palmer, of Riverside, IL, received two patents for a "Pneumatic Tire"; first self-healing bicycle cord tire; tread portion designed to operate under compression, any puncture would tend to close rather than open: manufactured by B.F. Goodrich Company.

December 20, 1892 - Alexander T. Brown and George F. Stillman, of Syracuse, New York, received a patent for a "Pneumatic Tire for Vehicles"; inflatable (pneumatic) automobile tire; automobile tire that could be easily detached or mounted to the rim of wheel (no permanent connection between tire and wheel necessary, no tools for tightening required, other than those to inflate).

August 29, 1898 - Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. incorporated in Ohio; November 21, 1898 - Frank A. Seiberling (38) and 13 workers began production of bicycle, carriage tires, horseshoe pads, fire hose, rubber poker chips in converted strawboard factory in East Akron, OH;  first month sales = $8,246.00.

1900 - Harvey Firestone (31) incorporated Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, OH; 1902 - first factory opened with 12 employees; 1906 - sold 2,000 sets of detachable tires to Henry Ford for first mass-produced automobiles in America; 1907 - developed first commercial "demountable rim" (made tire repair, replacement easier); 1911 - first Indianapolis 500 winner drove on Firestone tires; March 29, 1921 - registered "Firestone" trademark first used in 1900 (rubber tires); 1971 - developed first steel belted radial tire; 1979 - introduced temporary spare tire; 1988 - acquired by Bridgestone Corporation.

August 3, 1900 - Inventor and entrepreneur Harvey S. Firestone (31) incorporated Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, OH; began production of carriage tires with only 12 employees; 1908 - Henry Ford chose Firestone tires for the Model T.

June 14,1904 - Frank A. Seiberling and William C. Stevens. of Akron, OH, received a patent for a "Machine for Making Outer Castings for Double-Tube Tires"; tire making machine.

August 23, 1904 - Harry D. Weed, of Canastota, NY, received a patent for "Grip-Tread for Pneumatic Tires" ("applicable for use on the traction-wheels of automobiles to prevent the tire from slipping on slippery pavements...composed entirely of chains linked together and applied to the sides and periphery of the tire and held in place solely by the inflation of the tire"); tire chains for automobiles.

1905 - Trelleborgs Gummifabriks AB is founded. Under the management of Henry Dunker, rapidly becomes Scandinavia's leading rubber-production company, with bicycle and car tires, industrial rubber goods and raincoats as its principal products; 2005 -one of world's leading groups in polymer technology.

1911 - Charles Gates, Sr. bought The Colorado Tire and Leather Company in Denver, CO for $3,500; made single product, Durable Tread, steel-studded band of leather that motorists fastened to flimsy car tires to extend mileage; renamed The Gates Rubber Company; 1917 - John Gates (brother) invented rubber and fabric V-belt; world's largest manufacturer of V-belts within decade (still is); 1954 - opened first international manufacturing facility in Brantford, ON, Canada; grew into one of world's largest manufacturers of industrial, automotive belts and hoses, host of related products; only non-tire producing rubber company with sales, manufacturing operations in all of world's major markets; 1996 - largest non-tire rubber company in world; acquired by Tomkins plc. 

Charles Gates, Sr. - Gates Rubber (

February 4, 1913 - Louis H. Perlman, of New York City, received  patent for a "Wheel"; demountable tire-carrying rim for cars (similar those used on today's cars, but wider); first automobile tire rim designed to be removed and remounted.

April 14, 1914 - Stacy G. Carkhuff  (Firestone Rubber Co.) received a patent for a "Vehicle-Tire"; first U.S. patent for non-skid tire pattern; abrupt oblique edges of raised portions molded on the tire provided against skidding in all directions; arranged in rows diagonally across the tread surface of the tire.

April 5, 1923 - Firestone Tire and Rubber Company began the first regular production of balloon tires (large-section, thin-walled tires with a small bead) for commercial use; wider contact area,  more comfortable ride, reduced the danger of high-pressure blowouts; steel-wheeled tractor could be replaced with pneumatic tires with better grip, less vibration, more comfort, lower fuel consumption; created a new worldwide market in agricultural and earth-moving tires; 1932 - Firestone low-pressure balloon tires revolutionized work on farms.

November 1, 1923 - Goodyear bought rights to manufacture Zeppelin dirigibles.

November 12, 1923 - Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company announces it has purchased all patents and rights to manufacture Zeppelin dirigibles.

May 27, 1924 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for a "Method of Producing Chlorinated Rubber".

May 12,1925 - Alden L. Putnam, of Detroit, MI, received a patent for a "Pneumatic Treaded Vehicle Wheel"; treaded pneumatic tire.

April 10, 1930 - Synthetic rubber first produced.

1931 - Ishibashi Shojiro founded Bridgestone Tire Corporation; name was transposed English translation of his last name ("Stone Bridge" transposed better sounding "Bridge Stone"); made company name and trademark; guaranteed exchange of any defective tire for new one; one hundred thousand tires had to be recalled during following three years; after WW II - operated 46 plants in 23 nations; 1984 - name changed to Bridgestone Corporation; March 1988 - acquired 88-year-old Firestone Tire & Rubber for $2.6 billion.

  - Ishibashi Shojiro - founder, Bridgestone Tire (

June 14, 1932 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for "Production of Molded Articles" ("improved method for molding such articles as are made of rubber containing material or the like and to molds or platens used in carrying out such method and coated to prevent the material of the articles molded from adhering to the molds when such articles are removed therefrom").

November 8, 1932 - Douglas Frank Twiss and Edward Arthur Murphy, of Birmingham, UK, received a patent for the "Manufacture of Goods from Aqueous Dispersions of or Containing Rubber and Similar Resins" ("manufacture of goods of rubber or similar material by known operations such as dipping, spreading, coating, moulding, extrusion, chemical deposition or electrophoretic deposition from emulsions or dispersions of rubber or similar materials...represent a penultimate stage and are in a more or less pasty condition containing a relatively large proportion of water...for the most part lacking in mechanical strength and easily lose their shape"); foam rubber (developed in 1929 as frothed natural latex rubber); assigned to Dunlop Rubber Company Limited; 1934 - ubiquitous - used on motorcycle seats, London bus seats, Shakespeare Memorial Theatre seats, mattresses.

October 10, 1933 - Waldo L. Semon, of Silver Lake Village, OH, received a patent for a "Synthetic Rubber-Like Composition and Method of Making Same"; plasticized PVC (polyvinyl chloride in a rubber-like form); vinyl - for use as water-proof boots or shoes, insulating coatings, resilient flooring material.

June 4, 1940 - Synthetic rubber tire unveiled.

December 27, 1941 - U.S. government began to ration rubber, due to shortages caused by World War II; tires were first items restricted by law.

May 11, 1947 - B.F. Goodrich Co. announced the development of a tubeless tire.

September 1960 - Park Incheon founded Samyang Tire Co., Ltd. in Yang-dong, Kwangju City, Korea; January 1961 - produced first tire, averaged 20 per day; April 1963 - manufactured first compact passenger car tire in Korea; June 1964 - developed tube; January 1969 - developed snow tire; 1976 - became leader in tire sector, listed on Korea Stock Exchange; December 1976 - produced one million tires in year (record in Korea); April 1978 - developed Korea's first TB radial tire; July 1983 - total output exceeded 30 million tires; September 1984 - Kumho Corporation merged with Kumho Tire; July 21, 1987 - Kumho & Co., Inc. registered "Kumho" trademark first used October 28, 1986 (automotive vehicle tires and inner tubes); December 1990 - total output exceeded 100 million tires; August 1992 - ranked among top 10 in world tire market; March 1996 - name changed to Kumho Tire Co., Ltd.; 2003 - ranked 9th in world tire industry.

August 9, 2000 - Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. announced it was recalling 6.5 million tires that had been implicated in hundreds of accidents and at least 46 deaths.

(Canadian Tire), Ian Brown (1989). Freewheeling: The Feuds, Broods, and Outrageous Fortunes of the Billes Family and Canada's Favorite Company. (Toronto, ON: Harper & Collins, 339 p.). Canadian Tire Corporation--History; Billes family.

(Canadian Tire), Rod McQueen (2001). Can't Buy Me Love: How Martha Billes Made Canadian Tire Hers. (Toronto, ON: Stoddart, 282 p.). Martha Billes; Canadian Tire Corporation--History.

(Continental AG - established 1871), Paul Erker; Trans. Frederick S. Gardiner (1996). Competition and Growth: A Contemporary History of the Continental AG. (Dusseldorf, GER: ECON, 320 p.). Free University (Berlin). Continental AG--History; Rubber industry and trade--Germany--History.

(Firestone), Harvey S. Firestone in collaboration with Samuel Crowther (1926). Men and Rubber; the Story of Business. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 279 p.). Firestone Tire and Rubber Company.

Harvey Samuel Firestone, Jr.  (

(Firestone), Harvey S. Firestone, Jr. (1932). The Romance and Drama of the Rubber Industry. (Akron, OH: The Company, 127 p.). Firestone Tire and Rubber Company; Rubber industry and trade -- History; Tires, Rubber.

(Firestone), Alfred Lief (1951). The Firestone Story, A History of the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company. (New York, NY: Whittlesey House, 437 p.). Firestone, Harvey Samuel, 1868-1938; Firestone Tire and Rubber Company.

(Firestone), Alfred Lief with a foreword by Allen Nevins (1951). Harvey Firestone: Free Man of Enterprise. (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 324 p.). Firestone, Harvey Samuel, 1868-1938; Firestone Tire and Rubber Company; Industrialists--United States--Biography.

(Firestone), Wayne Chatfield Taylor (1956). The Firestone Operations in Liberia. (Washington, DC: National Planning Association, 115 p.). Firestone Plantations Company; Rubber industry and trade -- Liberia; Liberia -- Economic conditions.

(Firestone), Paul Dickson and William Hickman (1999). Firestone: A Legend, a Century, a Celebration, 1900-2000. (New York, NY: Forbes Custom Publishing. Firestone, Harvey Samuel, 1868-1938; Firestone Tire and Rubber Company--History; Industrialists--United States--Biography; Tire industry--United States--History; Rubber industry and trade--United States--History.

(General Tire), Dennis J. O'Neill (1966). A Whale of a Territory; The Story of Bill O'Neil. (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 249 p.). O'Neil, William Francis; General Tire & Rubber Co.

(Goodrich - origins to 1870), Mansel G. Blackford, K. Austin Kerr (1996). B.F. Goodrich: Tradition and Transformation, 1870-1995. (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 507 p.). B.F. Goodrich Company--History; Rubber industry and trade--United States--History; Tire industry--United States--History.

Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich  (

(Goodyear), Rev. Bradford K. Peirce (1866). Trials of an Inventor: Life and Discoveries of Charles Goodyear. (New York, NY: Carlton & Porter, 224 p.). Goodyear, Charles, 1800-1860.

Charles Goodyear (

Frank A. Seiberling - Founder of Goodyear  (

(Goodyear), Norman Beasley (1931). Men Working; A Story of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (New York, NY: Harper & Brothers, 296 p.). Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

(Goodyear), Ralph F. Wolf (1939). India Rubber Man; The Story of Charles Goodyear. (Caldwell, ID: The Caxton printers, ltd., 291 p.). Goodyear, Charles, 1800-1860.

(Goodyear), Adolph C. Regli (1941). Rubber's Goodyear; The Story of Man's Perseverance. (New York, NY: J. Messner, 248 p.). Goodyear, Charles, 1800-1860; Rubber industry and trade--United States.

(Goodyear), Hugh Allen (1949). The House of Goodyear; Fifty Years of Men and Industry. (Cleveland, OH: Corday & Gross, 691 p.). Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company; Tires, Rubber; Rubber industry and trade.

(Goodyear), Paul W. Litchfield (1954). Industrial Voyage; My Life as an Industrial Lieutenant. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 347 p.). Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

(Goodyear), Hugh Allen (1976). The House of Goodyear: A Story of Rubber and of Modern Business. (New York, NY: Arno Press, 417 p. (Reprint of 1943 ed.)). Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company; Tires, Rubber; Rubber industry and trade.

(Goodyear), Maurice O'Reilly; edited by James T. Keating (1983). The Goodyear Story. (Elmsford, NY: Benjamin Co., 223 p.). Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company; Tire industry--United States--History; Rubber industry and trade--United States--History.

(Goodyear), Bryan D. Palmer (1994). Goodyear Invades the Backcountry: The Corporate Takeover of a Rural Town. (New York, NY: Monthly Review Press, 180 p.). Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company; Tire industry -- Ontario -- Napanee; Rubber industry and trade -- Ontario -- Napanee.

(Goodyear), Jeffrey L. Rodengen (1997). The Legend of Goodyear: The First 100 Years. (Ft. Lauderdale, FL: Write Stuff Syndicate, 251 p.). Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company--History; Tire industry--United States--History; Rubber industry and trade--United States--History.

(Goodyear), Richard Korman (2002). The Goodyear Story: An Inventor's Obsession and the Struggle for a Rubber Monopoly. (San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books, 230 p.). Goodyear, Charles, 1800-1860; Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company; Rubber.

(Goodyear), Charles Slack (2002). Noble Obsession: Charles Goodyear, Thomas Hancock, and the Race To Unlock the Greatest Industrial Secret of the Nineteenth Century. (New York, NY: Hyperion, p.). Goodyear, Charles, 1800-1860; Hancock, Thomas; Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company; Rubber.

(Hood Rubber Company- Documentary), Roger Hagopian (2009). Destination Watertown: The Armenians of Hood Rubber. (Watertown, MA, Roger Hagopian, 60 min.). Rug and upholstery Cleaner, Arts and Crafts Vendor, Freelance Videographer. Rubber industry--history--Massachusetts; Hood Rubber Company; Watertown, MA--history. Factory and people who worked there from 1890s to 1920s; 1896 - Arthur and Frederic Hood  founded chemical research lab; moved on to production of shoes, boots, tires; 1920 - produced one-fifth of United State’s footware; 1929 - acquired by B.F. Goodrich; 1969 - closed; interviews with former company employees and Hood family descendants; focuses on working conditions; end of 1920s - approximately 3,500 Armenians (10% of population) living in Watertown, MA; more than 500 worked at Hood Rubber. Available at

(Michelin), Alain Jemain; préface de Bernard Hanon (1982). Michelin: Un Siècle de Secrets. (Paris, FR: Calmann-Lévy, 261 p.). Pneu Michelin (Firm)--History; Tire industry--France--History.

Andre, Edourd Michelin (

(Michelin), Stephen L. Harp (2001). Marketing Michelin: Advertising and Cultural Identity in Twentieth-Century France. (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 368 p.). Associate Professor of History (University of Akron). Pneu Michelin (Firm)--History; Advertising--Tires--France--History. 

(Michelin), Herbert Lottman (2003). The Michelin Men: Driving an Empire. (New York, NY: I. B. Tauris, 310 p.). Pneu Michelin (Firm)--History; Tire industry--France--History. 

(Peruvian Amazon Company), Ovidio Lagos (2005). Arana, rey del Caucho: Terror y Atrocidades en el Alto Amazonas. (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Emecé Editores, 397 p.). Arana, Julio César; Peruvian Amazon Company -- History; Businesspeople -- Peru -- Biography; Rubber industry and trade -- Amazon River Region -- History; Indians of South America -- Crimes against -- Amazon River Region -- History.

(Pirelli), Francesca Polese (2004). Alla Ricerca di un’Industria Nuova: Il Viaggio all’Estero del Giovane Pirelli e le Origini di Una Grande Impresa, 1870-1877. (Venezia, IT: Marsilio, 210 p.). Pirelli, Giovanni Battista, 1848-1932 --Travel--Europe; Pirelli, societa` per azioni--History; Rubber industry and trade--Italy--History; Europe--Description and travel. Origins of first Italian rubber manufacturing company.

Giovanni Battista Pirelli Giovanni Battista Pirelli  ( Conf2004/pict/lastoria/presid/gb_pirelli.jpg)

(United States Rubber Company), Glenn D. Babcock (1966). History of the United States Rubber Company; A Case Study in Corporation Management. (Bloomington, IN: Bureau of Business Research, Graduate School of Business, Indiana University, 477 p.). United States Rubber Company.

Joseph Banigan - U. S. Rubber  (

(United States Rubber Company) (2008). Irish Titan, Irish Toilers: Joseph Banigan and Nineteenth-Century New England Labor. (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 288 p.). Professor at the Labor Research Center (University of Rhode Island). Banigan, Joseph; United States Rubber Company -- history; Irish -- United States -- history. 1847 - Joseph Banigan, Irish Potato Famine refugee, established himself in Rhode Island as entrepreneur in emerging local rubber footwear industry, became president of United States Rubber Company, one of nation’s major cartels, New England’s first Irish-Catholic millionaire; Irish-American experience during critical period.

Hugh Allen; with a foreword by Lloyd C. Douglas (1949). Rubber's Home Town, The Real-Life Story of Akron. (New York, NY: Stratford House, 265 p.). Akron (Ohio)--History.

Janet Bloor, John D. Sinclair (2004). Rubber: Fun, Fashion, Fetish. (New York, NY: Thames & Hudson, 112 p.). Head of Euroco Costumes Ltd. (costume/fabric effects - silicone rubber textiles for Broadway and film); Screenwriter/Filmmaker. Rubber--history; Arts & Photography; Design; Textile & Costume.  

John H. Drabble (1973). Rubber in Malaysia, 1876-1922; The Genesis of the Industry. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 256 p.). Honorary Research Associate (University of Sydney). Rubber industry and trade -- Malaysia -- Malaya -- History.

Michael  J. French (1990). The U.S. Tire Industry: A History. (Boston, MA: Twayne Publishers, 156 p.). Tire industry--United States--History.

Vernon Herbert and Attilio Bisio (1985). Synthetic Rubber: A Project That Had To Succeed. (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 243 p.). Rubber, Artificial -- History; Rubber industry and trade -- United States -- History. 

Joe Jackson (2008). The Thief at the End of the World: Rubber, Power and the Seeds of Empire. (New York, NY: Viking, 432 p.). Rubber industry and trade--Amazon River Region--History. Reckless courage and ambition. 1876 - Henry Wickham smuggled 70,000 rubber tree seeds (Hevea brasiliensis tree) out of rainforests of Brazil, delivered them to Victorian England’s most prestigious scientists at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens; seeds planted around world in England’s colonial outposts; gave rise to great rubber boom of early twentieth century; changed  world economy, bankrupted Brazil, made UK a world power again, pave way for America's automobile revolution.

John Loadman (2005). Tears of the Tree: The Story of Rubber - A Modern Marvel. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 336 p.). Retired Head of the Materials Characterization Group (Natural Rubber Producers' Research Association). Rubber --History; Rubber industry and trade --History. Four thousand years of rubber: from significance in Mayan religious rituals, culture to pivotal role in today's world (seen through lives of adventurers and scientists who promoted it, lusted after it, tamed it into ubiquitous, crucial material); lives of those who caused deaths of millions of natives in Africa, South America while seeking to satisfy developing world's demand for material; why rubber ages, deteriorates and how ravages of time may be ameliorated; current concern for environment, various options for 'waste disposal'.

John Loadman and Francis James (2009). The Hancocks of Marlborough: Rubber, Art and the Industrial Revolution: A Family of Inventive Genius. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 274 p.). Retired Head of the Materials Characterization Group (Natural Rubber Producers' Research Association); Historian. Hancock, Thomas; Hancock family --England --Marlborough; Inventors --England --Marlborough --Biography; Rubber industry --Great Britain --History; Industrial revolution --Great Britain --History. Hancock family from Great Fire of Marlborough in 1653 to present day; six brothers made tremendous contribution to 19th-century science, art: 1) Walter designed, ran first steam carriages to carry passengers on common roads of England - began age of mechanized transport; 2) Thomas founded UK rubber industry - discovered how to vulcanize rubber reliably; 3) Charles- well established painter, instrumental in manufacture of gutta percha-coated undersea cables used by electric telegraph to begin global information highway; 4) John, James, William made significant contributions to development of Victorian science, culture.

Steve Love and David Giffels (1999). Wheels of Fortune: The Story of Rubber in Akron. (Akron, OH: University of Akron Press, 359 p.). Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company--History; B.F. Goodrich Company--History; Firestone Tire and Rubber Company--History; General Tire & Rubber Co.--History; Rubber industry and trade--Ohio--Akron--History; Tire industry--Ohio--Akron--History.

D. J. M. Tate (1996). The RGA History of the Plantation Industry in the Malay Peninsula. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 647 p.). Plantations--Malay Peninsula--History; Industries--Malay Peninsula--History; Rubber industry and trade--Malay Peninsula--History; Malay Peninsula--History; Malay Peninsula--Colonial influence. Commissioned by The Rubber Growers' Association (Malaysia) Berhad.

John Tully (2011). The Devil’s Milk: A Social History of Rubber. (New York, NY: Monthly Review Press 416 p.). Lecturer in Politics and International Studies (Victoria University, Melbourne Australia). Rubber industry and trade. History of modern world told through multiple lives of rubber: all advancements made possible by rubber have occurred against backdrop of seemingly endless exploitation, conquest, slavery, war (industrial machinery, telegraph technology, medical equipment, countless consumer goods); rubber production has always been site of struggle, oppressed who toil closest to “the devil's milk” in all its forms have never accepted their immiseration without fight.

Barbara Weinstein (1983). The Amazon Rubber Boom, 1850-1920. (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 356 p.). Rubber industry and trade--Brazil--History.

Charles M. Wilson (1943). Trees & Test Tubes; The Story of Rubber. (New York, NY: Holt, 352 p.). Rubber.

Howard and Ralph Wolf (1936). Rubber; A Story of Glory and Greed. (New York, NY: Covici, Friede, 533 p.). India-rubber industry--History; India-rubber.

William Woodruff (1958). The Rise of the British Rubber Industry During the Nineteenth Century. (Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press, 246 p.). Historian and Emeritus Graduate Research Professor (University of Florida). Rubber industry and trade -- Great Britain -- History.


Business History Links

The International Rubber Market, 1870-1930                                                Essay about natural rubber extraction and commercialization during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Initially "the best source of latex, the milky fluid from which natural rubber products were made, was hevea brasiliensis, which grew predominantly in the Brazilian Amazon (but also in the Amazonian regions of Bolivia and Peru)." Later, Southeast Asian plantations developed a low-cost alternative to South American production methods. Includes graphs. By two history professors.

Tire Industry Hall of Fame                                                     

United States Synthetic Rubber Program, 1939-1945                         Illustrated essay about the origins of synthetic rubber, which was developed by a consortium of companies after Southeast Asia cut off the U.S. supply of natural rubber at the beginning of World War II. Includes a bibliography. Part of the American Chemical Society National Historic Chemical Landmarks website.


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