Tire World Exports is interested in everything relating to tires. The history of the tire is more interesting than most people may imagine. The progression that has brought us the high-quality pneumatic tires we use to today, which is leading to the next evolution in tire design, is filled with a number of interesting facts. Here are seven of them.

7 Things You May Not Know About Tires

How much do you know about tires? In previous blogs, we have gone into technical details, as well as discussed some facts about Africa’s tire market. Here are some things you may not know about the evolution of tires from the time they were first developed.

1. Tires Used to be White

Today, we can’t imagine tires being anything other than black. We remember the white wall tires that were popular during the early part of the 20th Century. Other than that, though, completely black tires have always been the norm. However, in their early days, tires were made from rubber treated with zinc oxide. This reinforced the rubber and made the tires bright white!

2. They Were First Invented to Prevent Headaches!

John Boyd Dunlop was the first person to begin mass-producing rubber pneumatic tires. Interestingly, his main motivation was to design a tire with a great shock absorbing ability to prevent his son from developing headaches as he rode around on his bike.

Read Next: Understanding the Different Types, Sizes & Treads of Tire

3. We Have a Famous Crayon Brand to Thank for Black Tires

In the 1920s, tire manufacturers were looking for ways to increase the durability of their tires. Finally, a company called Binney and Smith, the people behind Crayola crayons, sold their carbon black to the Goodrich Tire Company. White tires faded out as carbon black-treated tires became the preferred choice.

4. There are Actually Two Possible Inventors of the Tire

Although John Dunlop is often credited as the originator of the tire, having started production in 1888, there was actually an earlier patent filed by one Robert William Thomson 40 years earlier.

5. The World’s Biggest Tire Weighs 12 Tons

The Uniroyal tire was unveiled in 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. It was originally intended to be a Ferris Wheel, and weighs 12 tons, and stands 80 feet high.

6. We Can Be Thankful the Artillery Wheel Went Out of Fashion!

When tires were first introduced, they were actually bolted to the wheels of vehicles, making changing a tire a very difficult and heavy task. These were called ‘artillery wheels’.

7. Look Out For the ‘Tweel’

The next development in the evolution of the wheel is the ‘tweel’, and airless, fused tire/wheel being developed by leading tire company Michelin. It will put an end to flat tires, although the tread will need to be changed on a regular basis.

Now That You Know Some Facts About the History of Tires, Get the Best at Tire World Exports

Tire World Exports stocks all South African-manufactured tire brands for export. Contact us for more information.

Now Read: Top Tips for Tire Care and Maintenance