Charles Goodyear invented the process of turning raw rubber into a usable product.
Before Goodyear’s invention, rubber melted, decomposed and became sticky in heat. The process Goodyear invented, called vulcanization, solved these problems and created a major world industry.
Goodyear was the first American to vulcanize rubber, a process which he discovered in 1839.
Unfortunately, Goodyear’s experiments were very expensive, and in order to complete them he had to borrow a lot of money. It was ten years from the time he started on his project until he obtained his patents in 1844.
In spite of the success of his work and the enthusiasm with which it was greeted, because of the money he had to borrow, he had to spend the rest of his life in poverty.
Many people think Goodyear invented the automobile tire and owned the Goodyear Tire Company. Actually, he had nothing to do with either the tire or the company.
The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company was founded in 1898 and named after Goodyear by Frank Seiberling.