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The invention of the tire (1887): history of the tire


Theinvention of the tire dates from the 19th century. It was the Frenchman Charles Dietz who, in 1830, was the first to dress the wheels of certain vehicles with a rubber band, placed between the wheel and the metal rim. Other bandages of the same material appear over the decades, until arriving at tubular bandages enveloping a piano wire.

Tire history

The ancestor of the tire is the pneumatic tire, a device which replaced the solid rubber tires of horse-drawn carriages and first cars. The first practical pneumatic tire, using compressed air to support the weight of the vehicle, was invented by the Scotsman R. W. Thomson, who obtained a patent in 1845. But the invention is forgotten.

John Boyd Dunlop, a Scottish veterinarian living in Ireland, found the road past his house bumpy. He tinkers with the wheels of his son's tricycle to line them with rubber tubes. Then in 1887, he developed an inner tube wrapped in a woven cotton canvas, which he glued to a wooden rim.

Towards industrial production

Dunlop refines his invention with the Englishman James Moore, winner of the first cycling race in the park of Saint-Cloud. He patented it in 1888 and built a bicycle tire factory that used the rubber vulcanization process of the American Charles Goodyear. Then it's the Frenchman's turn Michelin to develop the removable tire which made repairs possible in the event of a puncture, and in 1895 designed the first car on tires, called “L'Eclair”.

André Michelin and Edouard Michelin definitively linked their name to the application of tires to cycles and automobiles. The Michelin brothers set out to design tires for bicycles, horse-drawn carriages, automobiles and airplanes.

In 1946, Michelin established its industrial domination by designing the radial tire, with a much higher resistance than conventional tires thanks to the superposition of several layers of rubber. Michelin then invented the puncture-proof tire, which will consolidate its position as world leader.

For further

- The fabulous history of inventions - From mastery of fire to immortality. Dunod, 2018.

- Small stories of transport: Or how the means of transport have evolved since their invention, by Pierre LEFEVRE. bayard, 2014.


Video: A brief tyre history (October 2021).