Frank Fires it Up
It all started on the banks of the Little Cuyahoga River in Akron, Ohio, by Frank Seiberling in 1898 with the founding of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. The company was named in honor of Charles Goodyear, who discovered the rubber vulcanization process in 1839.
The timing couldn't have been better. The bicycle craze of the 1890s was booming. The horseless carriage was a wide-open challenge. Even the depression of 1893 was beginning to fade. So on August 29, 1898, Goodyear was incorporated with a capital stock of $100,000.
With just 13 employees, Goodyear production began on November 21, 1898, with a product line of bicycle and carriage tires, horseshoe pads, and poker chips. Since the first bicycle tire in 1898, Goodyear pedaled its way toward becoming the world’s largest tire company, a title it earned in 1916 when it adopted the slogan “More people ride on Goodyear tires than on any other kind,” becoming the world’s largest rubber company in 1926.
Something else about these legendary early years lingers on through Goodyear’s history. Something elusive and intangible, yet very real. Something about the people. Seiberling taking a gamble on the seven-acre tract that became the Goodyear factory. George Stableman had a gift of integrity and foresight that guided Goodyear’s sales through a critical 20 years. Paul W. Litchfield, whose conviction and leadership helped inspire Goodyear’s development for nearly six decades.
It was that early Goodyear team that made us a success and it’s the current Goodyear team that keeps us innovating. It’s people like yourself and future Goodyear associates that will keep pushing us to new heights.