In an attempt to try his son's tricycle; this doctor changed composition of wheels!!!
Posted February 5th, 2015
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John Boyd Dunlop (5 February 1840 – 23 October 1921) was a British inventor. He was one of the founders of the rubber company that bore his name, Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company.
He was born on a farm in Dreghorn, North Ayrshire. He studied veterinary medicine at the Dick Vet, University of Edinburgh. He pursued veternary profession for nearly ten years at home, moving to Downpatrick, Ireland, in 1867. He established Downe Veterinary Clinic in Downpatrick with his brother James Dunlop before moving to a practice in 38-42 May Street, Belfast. He had a good camerdire with Queen Victoria.
Observing his son having trouble with tricycle; in 1887, he developed first practical pneumatic or inflatable tyre for his son's tricycle, fitting it to a wooden disc 96cm across in the yard of his home in Belfast. The tyre was an inflated tube of sheet rubber. He then took his wheel and a metal wheel from his son's tricycle and rolled both across the yard together.
The metal wheel stopped rolling but the pneumatic continued until it hit a gatepost and rebounded. Dunlop then put pneumatics on both rear wheels of the tricycle. That too rolled better and Dunlop moved on to larger tyres for a bicycle "with even more startling results." He tested that in Cherryvale sports ground, South Belfast, and patented it on 7 December 1888.
Willie Hume demonstrated the supremacy of Dunlop's tyres in 1889, winning the tyre's first ever races in Ireland and then England. Two years after he was granted the patent Dunlop was officially informed that it was invalid as Scottish inventor Robert William Thomson (1822–1873), had patented the idea in France in 1846 and in the US in 1847. Dunlop's patent was later declared invalid on the basis of Thomson's prior art.
Dunlop’s development of the pneumatic tyre arrived at a crucial time in the development of road transport. Commercial production began in late 1890 in Belfast. Dunlop assigned his patent to William Harvey Du Cros, in return for 1,500 shares in the resultant company and in the end did not make any great fortune by his invention. Dunlop died in Dublin, and is buried in Deans Grange Cemetery. Dunlop's image appeared on the £10 note issued by the Northern Bank which was in circulation in Northern Ireland.

Dunlop Rubber was a British multinational involved in the manufacture of various rubber goods. It was one of the first multinationals, and grew to be one of the largest British industrial companies. The Dunlop Tyres company in South Africa was acquired by the Indian company Apollo Tyres.
In December 2013 Apollo Tyres sold most of its South African operations to Sumitomo RI for $60 million (Rs 333 crore) including the Ladysmith passenger car tyre plant. Apollo Tyres has retained its Durban plant, which manufactures truck & bus radial (TBR) tyres and off-highway tyres used in the mining and construction industries. Sumitomo RI also acquired ownership rights for the Dunlop brand in 32 African markets.

The materials of modern pneumatic tires are synthetic rubber, natural rubber, fabric and wire, along with carbon black and other chemical compounds. They consist of a tread and a body. The tread provides traction while the body provides containment for a quantity of compressed air. Before rubber was developed, the first versions of tires were simply bands of metal that fitted around wooden wheels to prevent wear and tear. Early rubber tires were solid (not pneumatic). Today, the majority of tires are pneumatic inflatable structures, comprising a doughnut-shaped body of cords and wires encased in rubber and generally filled with compressed air to form an inflatable cushion. 

A tire carcass is composed of several parts: the tread, tread lug, tread void, rain groove, sipe, wear bar, bead, sidewall, shoulder, and ply.

The story of Irishman John Boyd Dunlop, inventor of air tires

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