Goodyear: Rolling Ahead Since 1898

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, commonly known simply as Goodyear, is one of the world's leading tire manufacturers. Founded in 1898 by Frank Seiberling in Akron, Ohio, the company has undergone over a century of evolution, innovation, and expansion. Named after Charles Goodyear, the inventor of vulcanized rubber, the company has been pivotal in shaping the global tire industry. With a vast array of products ranging from automobile, truck, and airplane tires to industrial equipment, Goodyear's footprint is visible across multiple sectors.

Early Years and Naming

Frank Seiberling borrowed $3,500 from his brother-in-law to purchase an abandoned strawboard factory on the banks of the Little Cuyahoga River in Akron. Despite lacking a background in rubber or tires, Seiberling saw the potential for rubber products in a rapidly industrializing America. The name 'Goodyear' was chosen to honor Charles Goodyear, whose discovery of vulcanized rubber revolutionized the material's usage, even though he had no direct association with the company.

Pioneering Milestones & The Wingfoot Logo

In 1900, Goodyear introduced its iconic Wingfoot trademark, inspired by a statue of the Roman god Mercury. The logo symbolized speed, agility, and forward-thinking, traits that would define the company's products and services for generations to come.

Model-T and Mass Production

One of Goodyear's pivotal moments came in 1901 when it started providing tires for the early automobile manufacturers. A landmark partnership was formed in 1908 with Ford Motor Company to supply tires for the Model T. This deal was instrumental in positioning Goodyear as a major player in the burgeoning automotive industry.

Innovation in Tires

Goodyear has a history of innovations. In 1903, it became the first company to introduce a detachable tire, allowing for easier repairs and replacements. The company later introduced the first 'tubeless' tire in 1904 and the first all-weather “Lifeguard” safety tire in 1934, featuring a patented 'Golden Ply' to reduce blowouts.

Aviation and Beyond

Goodyear also ventured into aviation and was a key supplier during both World Wars. The company produced aero-tires, military airplanes, and even barrage balloons. Its innovations in the aviation sector included retractable landing gears and disc brakes for airplanes.

Global Expansion and Modern Times

From its humble beginnings in Akron, Goodyear expanded internationally, establishing its first overseas subsidiary in Canada in 1910. Today, it operates in almost every region of the world, employing tens of thousands of people and maintaining a network of dealers and suppliers that stretches the globe. In the 21st century, the company has focused on sustainability and innovation. With products like the Assurance Fuel Max, a tire designed to improve fuel efficiency, and concepts like the 'Oxygene' tire, which incorporates living moss to absorb CO2 and release oxygen, Goodyear aims to remain at the forefront of technology and environmental responsibility.

Challenges and Controversies

Like any long-standing corporation, Goodyear has faced its share of challenges and controversies, ranging from labor strikes to competition from cheaper brands. The company also faced scrutiny for tire failures associated with Ford Explorer rollovers in the early 2000s, which led to major lawsuits.


More than just a tire company, Goodyear is an American icon that has contributed significantly to transportation, industry, and technology. Through its innovative products, global reach, and focus on sustainability, the company continues to set the pace for the industry. Its ability to adapt and innovate ensures that Goodyear remains synonymous with quality and reliability, as it has for over a century. With an unwavering commitment to safety, performance, and excellence, Goodyear looks poised to roll ahead into the future, embodying its age-old ethos of 'More Driven.'