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The history of the tire

Discover the history of the tire, since the discovery of the vulcanization of rubber up to the invention of the tubeless tire. It was the company Goodyear who discovered in 1839 the vulcanization of rubber.


John Boyd Dunlop, Scottish veterinary that lived in Ireland, was the person who first invented the tire in 1887. He designed an "air tube" surrounded by fabric woven cotton that he taped and nailed in a wooden rim. The result was better than it sounded. In July 23, 1888, J.B. Dunlop registered the patent that will evolve the tire.

Usine Michelin


  • In 1891, brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin invent the mountable pneumatic, which revolutionized the tire and allowed his adoption to the automobile world.
  • Towards 1910, tires were equipped with a metallic ring on the tail, destined to improve rigidness. Other structures were also adopted and a carbon black was added to increase resistance to abrasion.In 1915, the Germans made a synthetic rubber.
  • In the 1920s, the woven cotton had disappeared and it was replaced by a rayon cord tire.
  • In 1937, Michelin created the steel housing.
  • In June 4, 1946, Michelin invent and patent the radial tire, that since then, it has been utilized by all manufacturers. The first cars equipped with such tire were Citroen with forward traction.
  • In 1955, Michelin invented the tubeless tire.
  • In 1962, Bridgestone develops its first radial structure tires in Japanese steel for trucks and buses and the first radial structure tires for individual vehicles in 1964.
  • In 1965, BFGoodrich develops the American radial tire (Lifesaver).
  • In 1971, Goodyear tires step on the moon.
  • In 1972, Continental launches the nail-less winter tire (ContiContact).
  • In 1977, BFGoodrich tires equip the space shuttle Columbia.


  • In the 80s, Pirelli invents low profile tires, an innovative technology specially to reduce the height of flanks.
  • In 1981, the Michelin X Air becomes the first radial tire in planes.
  • In 1992, Goodyear puts together the first airless tire that allows, after a puncture, to continue driving at a reduced velocity during a limited amount of miles.
  • In 1992, Michelin associates original silica and a synthetic elastomer.
  • This mix permits future tire manufacturing presenting a low resistance to tread and a good adherence over cold floors, without losing any of its resistance to wear qualities. This innovation gave place to "low resistance to tread", which allowed minimizing the vehicle consumption of fuel.
  • In 1997, Bridgestone comes into competition with Formula 1. The vehicles equipped with Bridgestone Potenza tires achieved the four podiums during the season.
  • In 1999, Dunlop presents a tire control system (WARNAIR). It detects the pressure loss and informs the driver through sound and/or visual notifications.
  • In 2001, Michelin puts together a new technology for airplane tires that allows Concorde to take off once again (The NZG radial technology).
  • Finally, in 2002, Bridgestone and Continental announce in the Vehicle Display in Geneva, a technical cooperation to develop a RunFlat tire.