When you drive into a garage and select your new set of tyres, Goodyear is probably a name that you are well aware of. But you are probably less aware of the years of failures and imprisonment for debts that have led to our ability to purchase tyres for our vehicles that are both strong, adhesive to the road surface and have a great longevity.
Many processes take time to develop. The use of Rubber Injection Moulding for example allows for liquid rubber to be injected into any shape and size of mould to create numerous different items. But it was the accidental discovery of vulcanisation by Charles Goodyear that changed the strength of rubber.
Here are some interesting facts about the man himself
- His discovery came about by accident when he dropped some rubber that had been mixed with sulphur onto a hot stove.
- The Goodyear Tyre and Rubber Company is named after him.
- He lived most of his life in extreme poverty and was sent to debtors prison on numerous occasions after being unable to pay his debts.
- The first item he made was shoes and his wife and children helped him to process and vulcanise the rubber.
- In 1976 was one of six people who were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in the USA.