Friday 3rd August 1900
The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company was established in Akron, Ohio, US. Thirty-one-year-old inventor and entrepreneur Harvey S. Firestone seized on a new way of making carriage tires and began production with only 12 employees. As a young man, Firestone had worked as a salesman for a buggy company and later became convinced that rubber carriage tires would provide a more comfortable ride than steel tires or wooden wheels. Around 1895, Firestone met a young engineer in Detroit named Henry Ford, who was developing his first automobile. Firestone sold Ford a set of rubber carriage tires, an event that marked the start of an important business relationship and friendship between the two men. Believing that the horse-and-buggy era was ending and the auto age beginning, Firestone incorporated the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio. (Akron, which would come to be known as the world’s rubber capital, was also home to Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, founded in 1898, and B. F. Goodrich, established in 1870.) Firestone began producing its own tires in 1903 and three years later sold 2,000 sets of detachable tires to Henry Ford, in what was then the world’s largest tire order.