The National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation recently welcomed Harvey S. Firestone, inventor of the pneumatic tire and founder of Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., into its ranks as one of a group of individuals whose inventions broke barriers and signified thinking “outside the box.”
Selling buggies in Detroit after his high school graduation, Harvey Firestone had an idea that would help make the horse and buggy carriage more comfortable for customers- rubber tires. By turning this idea, and many others that followed, into a reality, this inventor’s interest in technology helped usher America into the 20th century.
In the late 19th century, the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. was formed to supply pneumatic tires to wagons, buggies and other forms of wheeled transportation. Firestone helped the company grow through key partnerships, such as one with Henry Ford, and a personal marketing style that included competing in street races in his rubber-tired racing buggy.
His innovative pneumatic tires debuted on a national scale as part of the 1919 Transcontinental Motor Trail, which is being recreated this month as part of the celebration of the U.S. Interstate Highway System’s 50th anniversary. To learn more about Firestone and his accomplishments, click here.