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Alabama the making and the history
19 March 2021

Where the rubber met the road


It is estimated that there's about a billion Motor Vehicles in use in the world today. And while those vary anywhere from Tiny scooter to a giant tractor trailer. They all have a few things in common among them that thing that connects them to the road a very basic piece of a modern vehicle. Most people use tires on a regular basis today. They become so ubiquitous that we barely think of them until of course one goes flat, but the history of the tired was back farther than you might think and it's played an outsized. Role in human history that's parked where the rubber meets the road is history, but deserves to be remembered. But before we get down to the real highways, let's talk about those electronic highways that are more important part of our life. You my business is online and I do much of my life online and face it in the covid world. Most of us are spending more time online for both personal reasons in for business, and I'm not a very technically minded person. But even the I understand that I have to protect my data because your daddy is one place where you don't want the story to include Pirates. Everybody should have a VPN and Nord VPN offers the high end encryption that you need to protect. Your data take control of your internet again with Nord VPN. And right now you get 68 percent off into your plan plus one additional month for free. When you go to North the history guy or use the code the history Guy special offer makes your subscription just three dollars in 71 cents per month. That's Nord the history guide to take control of your internet again in it isn't just about encryption and data in order has servers in countries all over the world and one of the things that That lets you do is watch say Netflix shows that are only shown in certain countries from your own home. So let's say you want to watch Doctor Who Orphan Black or Star Trek Discovery, you know, those aren't on Netflix here in the United States, but hop on over to the UK server and there they are so you don't have to figure out where they are or if they're available or in the US or pay for like ten streaming services to get the couple shows that you want see so avoid internet Pirates and take control of your internet again by going to Nord VP. the history guy or just going to Nord VPN and using the code the history guy or just using the link that's in the description. You'll get 68 percent off a two-year plan plus another month free. You'll be glad you did. Any history of the tire has to start with the invention of the wheel. Well, we call Wheels simple machines using the wheels for vehicles requires an additional piece the axle the relationship between the axle and the wheel had to be precise. The axle needed smooth rounded edges to fit into the wheel or else friction would make it too difficult to move and it fits snugly but not too snuggly or the wheels wouldn't rotate making it thicker axle increase friction of weight, but making a thin one meant the cart wouldn't support a load many early Wheels were made from thick trunk trees to make Large Wheels with fewer pieces and later would be replaced by spoke wheels, which lasted longer wheelwrights or people who craft Wheels needed metal tools to properly form the wheels and the axle which weren't invented until around 4000 BC, which is probably why Wheels were not invented until around 3500 BC. It's not clear exactly where the Wheeled originated although toy Wheels exist across Mesopotamia modern Russia and Europe. The oldest discovered wheel was found in the Slovenian dating to about 3150 BC. Wooden Wheels face. The issues of where's they rolled along dirt roads fields and Rocky paths a particularly sharp rock or rough bin could take a chunk out of a rim and ruin the whole wheel even if most of the rim was in good condition. This is where the tire came in societies began using tires to lengthen the life of their wheels and tires were much cheaper to replace than the entire wheel excavations at the ancient Mesopotamian city of I found the remains of Chariots and leather. One of the earliest materials used as a tire later wheelwrights used iron and then steel is tires. Usually taking a ring of Steel smaller than the metal eating it so much that it expanded to a size greater than the wheel and then cooling it around the wooden wheels at the metal will fit tightly against the rim Roman racing chariots may have used an iron Tire on only the right wheel because that will bore the brunt of the vehicles weight in races on oval tracks where Racers constantly turned left leaving off of the other wheel would have been a compromise in favor of lighter faster chariots in the Middle. Ages tires were often made of strips of irons called strakes or shoes which were nail across joints in the wheels Ram early Wheels with strikes in England were said to be chaud the word Tire probably comes as a shortened version of the word attire based on the idea that a wheel with a tire was dressed strikes replace Loop metal tires sometime after the fall of Rome when we for Loop tires become coming again in the 18th century. Until the 1800 s wheels and tires were primarily used for relatively slow vehicles and metal tires did the job. Well, though they did little to insulate the writer from bumps in the road. The earliest bicycles such as call of Andres has velocipede used metal shop Wheels rubber as we understand it is a process material natural rubber begins as a kind of tree sap called latex and didn't have much utility. It's very sticky in its natural state and heavily affected by temperature. It is soft and even melts with warm and become stiff and cracks when cold Charles Goodyear first became interested in rubber in the 1830s when he examines some Goods for the Roxbury Rubber Company in Boston using the rubber especially to make products waterproof the companies struggle because the rubber would become sticky and decompose rather quickly.

They need to products being returned by dissatisfied customers good your spent years working on the problem on his own try to number processes to make rubber more durable and longer-lasting first mixing it with magnesium later dipping the gum into nitric acid obsessed with Can rubber useful he struggled to make ends meet financing works his work with various creditors and often ending up in debtors prison in 1839. He was working at the Eagle India Rubber Company in Woburn, Massachusetts, when he accidentally combined rubber with sulfur on his stove to his surprise this hard in the rubber considerably and when he raised the temperature at only hard more instead of melting took some time for him to protect the process, but he had perfected it sufficiently to receive patent number 3633 in 1844 the good Here's patent ran into difficulty as just eight weeks before manufacturing engineer Thomas Hancock had received his own patent in England for the process which would come to be called vulcanization after the Roman god of fire and the forge Vulcan in patent disputes. It was noted that Hancock had studied samples of Goodyear's robber as early as 1840 to but chemist said it would have been impossible to discover Goodyear's process by examining his rubber samples Goodyear spent much of what he learned from his patent on patent disputes in the United States and abroad and died. And leave us in 1860. Actually process rubber has a history much longer than that ancient Mesoamerican cultures have been curing rubber for Millennia. The Central American civilization of the olmecs means rubber people in the Aztec language rubber was culturally significant for Central Americans take a naturally from trees and mixed with other plant material to make a more durable cured type. It was used in making the balls for the famous Central American ball games. The rubber was not vulcanized, but it was processed. Vulcanized rubber revolutionized rubber as a material which we can quickly important in building machines waterproof and clothing and countless other Goods shortly. After Goodyear's invention companies began to produce solid rubber tires, which were improvements on metal tires, but still not especially shock-absorbent in 1847 Scottish inventor, Robert William Thompson used a rubber belt encased inside leather to patent the first Airfield pneumatic tire, which created a cushion of air to the ground rail or track on which they Ron Thompson put them on several. ridges and display the Improvement in Rider Comfort tree Park in London, but his tires never entered production a practical tire was not invented until the 1890s when in Belfast Ireland prominent scottish-born veterinarian John Boyd Dunlop. So his young son struggling to write a solid rubber wheeled tricycle using a rubber sheet. He created the tube filled with are sufficient to support his son wrapped it in linen and nailed it to a wooden disk. The results were startling when he tested it against solid rubber tires, the pneumatic tires made for a considerably smoother ride decrease the loss of speed from Friction in 1888. Then what received a patent for his invention? This would lead to the commercial breakthrough for pneumatic tires. Willie Hume of Belfast cyclist heard from Dunlap that the tires might give him an advantage in bicycle races became one of the first to buy a bicycle with pneumatic tires. He promptly won all four cycling events at Queens College in Belfast in 1889 Irish financier and president of the Irish Cycling Association Harvey to crawl was at the meeting that day with some of his sons and so our financial With a little negotiation he bought the patent to begin the first pneumatic tire company in time for a major bicycle craze in the 1890s. Unfortunately for both Dunlap and to crawl the patent was invalidated because of Thompson's earlier pneumatic tire, but they were able to continue producing the tires do Croc quickly began mass-producing pneumatic bike tires and floated the public company that would become Dunlop tires nearly simultaneously Brothers Edouard and Andrei Michelin developed their own pneumatic. Tyra removable one that was used by the winner of the world's first long distance bicycle race from Paris to breast in 1891. Michelin would become the first to use pneumatic tires on a new invention the automobile in 1898 Goodyear Tire and rubber was founded in Akron Ohio in commemoration of Charles Goodyear. One of the remaining difficulties was that it was hard to balance securing the tire firmly to the wheel while also making it easy to replace English board Thomas be Jeffrey who had immigrated to the United States at 18 came up with the tire. That could be secure. The rim using hard rubber flanges locked into the wheel Rim. He received the patent and 1892 and in the early years of automobiles. It was most common kind of Tire on American cars Goodyear and Firestone would like to come up with a different style of Tire or the straight Side Tire which would become more common for Motor Vehicles the proliferation of Motor Vehicles and surprisingly drove the demand for more and better tires the turn of the century also brought mountable rims. That would become standard for Motor Vehicles. These rims made it easier for automobile owners to change their On tires poor road conditions necessitated the introduction of a spare tire which came standard with the Thomas be Jeffrey companies Rambler model faster Vehicles need a better tires for smoother rides, especially before Road technology and caught up with the new traffic other early 20th century Innovations included the tubeless tire which didn't see widespread use until after World War II grooved and treaded tires which improve friction on the road as well as Tire life and the addition of carbon black which gives tires.They're black color and also significantly reinforce the tire. A significant change came with the creation of synthetic rubbers Burnin rubber companies from relying on natural sources. The first synthetic rubber was created in Germany at a bear laboratory and the Russians used another kind supplement rubber supplies during World War 1 rising cost of natural rubber drove research as did World War 2 when Japan who controlled 90% of the world's natural rubber production cut off that supply to the United States military vehicles needed an enormous amount of rubber planes needed half a ton and a battleship needed 75 tons of rubber in construction. We're time the Ceci brought innovation in American rubber companies were producing only around 2,200 tons of synthetic rubber by 1945. They were producing nine hundred and twenty thousand tons a year demand for greater gas mileage push the commercial use of tubeless tires and in 1946, the radial tire was invented which massively improved fuel efficiency and handled higher speeds compared to the previous. tires radial tires caught on quickly in Europe and Asia, but not in America the big American Tire producers including Firestone Goodyear. We're slow to pick up and in the 1960s Michelin struck a deal to sell radials through Sears and were soon selling a million units per year BF Goodrich began producing American-made radials to quickly. Take market share American companies, like Firestone tried instead to improve bias-ply tires and willing to make the expense of changes to their factories as well as give up the lucrative replacement Market Goodyear stem the tied with belted bias tires, but in 1968 Consumer Reports put two radial tires is their best picture of the Year by the early 1970s car manufacturers like Ford switch to radial and American companies pivoted to filling the demand using imperfectly adaptive Machinery American companies struggle to make high quality options. Firestone had to recall 8.7 million tires in 1978 and was eventually bought out by Japanese based Bridgestone. In fact, the only two major historically American Tire Companies left today a good year. Cooper tires and tires continue to develop new designs new run-flat versions that are intended to prevent blowouts new tire pressure monitoring systems means the tyres are more durable and dependable than they ever were before and they continue to be an essential part modern society tires have played a critical role in human history from facilitating early trade to facilitating the Modern urban lifestyle through the proliferation of automobiles. And while we still hear stories that we might have flying cars in the future. It seems like tires are going to be with us for a good long time to come and manufacturers continue to make improvements with new designs and new materials that are more environmentally friendly and even airless tires and that all suggests that will continue using tires. Well into the future, even if we may no longer be stuck fixing them on the side of the road.