The Goodyear company, which bears the name of the inventor of vulcanization Charles Goodyear, was founded on August 29, 1898 by Frank Seiberling. And already on November 21 of this year, under the name Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, the company started the production of tires for horse carriages and bicycles. A year later, the company also started producing “rubbers” for cars.
An important milestone not only in the history of the Goodyear brand is the year 1903, in which the company patented the first tubeless tire. Interestingly, however, it did not find commercial use until the middle of the twentieth century.
In 1906, Goodyear developed a quick release tire that made it easier to remove the tire from the wheel while preventing it from being cut in the rim area. At a time when automobiles began to replace horse-drawn carriages, this was a significant step in terms of both safety and comfort.
Two years later, the company launched the first all-weather tire pattern. The pattern with diamond stripes was then used with only minor modifications for almost 40 years.
Goodyear in the movie
The Goodyear brand also occasionally appears in film, the company participated in the films Cars, Batman (2022), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Back to the Future, Ford vs. Ferrari or Rivals.
Another innovation is related to the weather and adverse climatic conditions that affect the quality of the surface under the wheels – in 1934 Goodyear began selling tires with spikes for driving in mud and snow. Studded tires then became the standard solution for winter driving in extreme conditions, especially on ice, for decades.
In 1938, Goodyear introduced LifeGuard tires, safety tires with a “built-in reserve”. These were actually the forerunners of run-on-flat tires, which used separate air chambers near the tread and rim to prevent them from completely flat in the event of a puncture or burst. These safety tires, also known as Double Eagle, were standard equipment in NASCAR races at the time.
Ten years later, the American company made itself known in Europe when it launched sales of an all-season tire in the form of the first series of Goodyear Vector tires.
Goodyear and airships
Advertising airships also belong to the Goodyear brand. The first ones took off for the first time in 1910 and Goodyear was the main pioneer of this then new method of air transport. In the 1950s, the Goodyear Blimp began to be used for aerial photography in television broadcasts, and in 1955 it premiered at the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl, the industry’s first flying camera carrier. Since then, the Goodyear Blimp has been a fixture at sporting and cultural events around the world, from the Super Bowl to royal weddings and many other high-profile events.
Now we can move to the relatively recent past, namely to 1992. In this year, the British company McLaren Cars presented the fascinating F1 supercar, which for many years held the title of the fastest production car on the planet.
And it was the McLaren F1 that used specially developed Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. “From the initial design of the McLaren F1, tires were considered an integral element of the suspension as part of the program’s comprehensive calculations regarding handling and comfort. Weight, safety, noise and dynamic characteristics were essential factors,” wrote McLaren in a press release for the introduction of the twelve-cylinder F1 model.
An interesting innovation was demonstrated by Goodyear in 2005, when it presented the DuraSeal technology, which enables the immediate repair of a punctured truck tire while driving.
In recent years, Goodyear has also paid great attention to ecology and sustainability. In 2001, for example, the company unveiled Goodyear GT3 tires, the world’s first “rubber” made from a corn-based compound, in 2021 it launched NexTrek, a non-pneumatic (“airless”) tire that the manufacturer says can create a sustainable, maintenance-free and a more durable alternative to conventional tires.
And this year, the company introduced demonstration tires made from 90% sustainable materials. By 2030, Goodyear wants to offer the world’s first tires made of 100% sustainable materials.