The History of Car Tyres

10 July 2017 / Lindleys Autocentres

Your car tyres are one of the most important components of your vehicle, particularly from a safety perspective. In recent years, there have been numerous technological advancements to enhance the safety, durability and mileage of your car. But how has the tyre developed over history? And how did your car tyres get to where they are today? Courtesy of Lindley’s Autocentres, your number one tyre centre in Nottingham, here is a brief history of the car tyre and how some of the biggest names in car tyres, helped to make them what they are today.  


1839: Charles Goodyear Invents Vulcanised Rubber

Goodyear is a big name in car tyres, one which dates back to its earliest inception. The invention of vulcanised rubber by Charles Goodyear had huge ramifications on the manufacture of goods. It was durable, moldable and it paved the way for the first rubber tyres. 


1846: Robert Thompson Patents the Vulcanised Rubber Pneumatic Tyre

Although Charles Goodyear is credited with the invention of the material, it was Robert Thompson who first applied the material to the manufacture of pneumatic tyres. However, there is a reason you may not be as familiar with the name Thompson as with others on this list, largely because in 1846 the motor car had not yet been invented. Indeed it would be another 40 years before the manufacture of pneumatic tyres would begin in earnest. 


1888: John Dunlop invents the Vulcanised Rubber Pneumatic Tyre

In an effort to improve the comfort of his son’s bicycle, John Dunlop invented the vulcanised rubber pneumatic tyre, without realising the same invention had been patented over forty years previously by Robert Thompson. After a legal battle with Thompson, Dunlop founded the Dunlop Rubber Company which he later sold for very little profit. 


1891: The Michelin Brothers Invent Detachable Rubber Tyres for Bicycles

Another big name in Tyre Manufacture, Edouard and Andre Michelin, made use of a new patent by CK Welsh which allowed tyres to be bolted on to the wheel rim. In this year, Andre Michelin was also the first to attach rubber tyres to a motor car. 


1903: Paul Weeks Litchfield Patents the Tubeless Tyre


1904: Mountable Introduced to Motor Cars

Combined with tubeless tyres, the introduction of the mountable rim to motor cars was the first time in history a motorist was able to change a tyre themselves. 


1908: Frank Seiberling Invents Grooved Tyres

With motor cars becoming faster and more and more cars hitting the road, the focus shifted towards road safety. Grooved tyres provided greater traction on the road, improving driver safety. 


1910: BF Goodrich adds Carbon to Tyre Rubber to Lengthen the Life of the Tyre


1911: Phillip Strauss Invents the First Successful Automobile Tyre

Although Rubber Tyres had been used on motor cars since 1895, it wasn’t until Phillip Strauss combined an inflatable inner tube with a galvanised rubber outer tyre that the car tyre first achieved commercial success. 


1937: BF Goodrich Invents the First Synthetic Rubber Tyres

27 years after adding carbon to the rubber, BF Goodrich, using a patented substance called Chemigum was able to manufacture the first synthetic rubber car tyres. 


1948: Michelin Patents the Radial Tyre

Michelin were the first to produce steel-belted radial tyres, providing greater durability and mileage for the motorist. 


1974: Pirelli Produce the Wide Radial Tyre

Another big name in tyre manufacture, Pirelli, were the first to produce wide radial tyres. These provided greater durability and a more even tread wear. 


Over the years that followed, tyres have undergone numerous changes in terms of the synthetic makeup of the rubber and the overall design of the tyre and continue to be developed by the big names who were pivotal in the shaping of the tyre throughout history. 


Lindley’s Autocentres in Nottingham stock a wide range of tyres including those manufactured by the big names in tyre development, providing a combination of quality, durability and safety. If you’re looking for new tyres for your car, speak to Lindley’s today. Contact us here or pop into one of our Nottingham Autocentres to speak to us about our range of car tyres. 


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