FOOTSTEPS OF OUR CLAN
HERE BE HISTORIES OF OUR
READ…AND WALK WITH THEM THROUGH TIME…
Dunlop came to be a household name.
by Mike Dunlap, Clan Historian
that is used daily by hundreds of millions (if not billions) of people around
the world was developed in the last century by Scotsman John Boyd Dunlop.
born on February 5, 1846 in Dreghorn, North Ayrshire.
After his studies in Edinburgh, he came to Belfast where he set up his
veterinarian practice on May Street. John Dunlop was always very kind to
animals and people, and it was his kindness which led him to invent something
which is used by almost everyone in the world today.
all, he noticed that horses had to pull very heavy loads, straining against
solid leather collars. So he attempted to make an air cushion collar to ease
their burden. While he was working on this idea, his young son, Johnnie,
complained to him about the bumpy cobble stones of the Belfast streets which
made it very uncomfortable for him to ride his tricycle. All the tyres on all
tricycles and bicycles were made of solid rubber at that time. John Boyd Dunlop
decided to do something about it.
consulted his doctor, Sir John Fagan, who told him how he had been able to make
his very sick patients comfortable by having them lie on air cushions in
hospital. Dunlop wondered whether his son Johnnie would be more comfortable on
if he could make air cushion tyres for it instead of the solid ones.
Dunlop's tires are pneumatic, that is they were inflatable. Until then most tires were made out of solid rubber. But pneumatic tires gives a much smoother ride.
It soon became very popular because it was discovered that as well as being more comfortable, a cyclist could travel faster and with less effort using pneumatic tyres.
It won't be long before carriages and then the new automobiles start using Dunlop's tires. In fact, practical automobiles wouldn't be possible without Dunlop's inflatable tires. Dunlop's company would grow and grow, not surprisingly, since everyone would want a car, and all cars need tires. At first tires were made by hand, with much difficulty, a process to make tires by machine will eventually speed things up. Now that tires were in demand, a lot of rubber was going to be needed. To make sure they would always have a good supply of rubber, the Dunlop Rubber Company eventually begin buying up rubber plantations in the British colonies in southeast Asia.
patented his design in 1888. In 1889 the Pneumatic Tyre Company was set up and
after more development the tyre was made suitable for all sorts of vehicles,
especially cars. Within ten years of patenting the device, it had almost
entirely replaced solid tires and had been implemented for use in automobiles by
Andre and Edouard Michelin. John established what would become the Dunlop Rubber
Company but had to fight and win a legal battle with Thomson. John Dunlop did
not benefit much financially from his invention - he sold the patent and company
name early on.
Despite Thomson's earlier work,
Dunlop is credited with the invention of the modern rubber tyre.
Dunlop retired to Dublin and died there in 1921.
On February 28th, 1888, Scottish born John Boyd Dunlop, a prosperous Veterinary Surgeon in practice in Belfast Ireland, fits pneumatic tyres to his son's tricycle.
23rd, 1888, Dunlop applies for a patent for his invention - Patent No. 10607 -,
which reads in part: "An improvement in Tyres of Wheels for Bicycles, Tricycles
or other Road Cars".
December 1888, Edlin & Co., cycle makers of Belfast, Northern Ireland, begin
making bicycles suitable for pneumatic tyres. The machines are called the
A Dublin, Ireland, syndicate purchases the rights to John Boyd Dunlop's patents and floats THE PNEUMATIC TYRE COMPANY AND BOOTH CYCLE AGENCY OF DUBLIN. Later, this company is named THE DUNLOP PNEUMATIC TYRE COMPANY, and the operation transferred to Coventry, England. The company evolves into the DUNLOP RUBBER COMPANY.
Tire tracks (footsteps) of our Clan can be seen on every road in every country
due to John Dunlop’s Tyres.