Harvey S. Firestone Sr.

Inducted 1974

Founded Firestone Tire & Rubber Company

Promoted road improvements, contributing to the development of long-distance trucking

Popularized the use of pneumatic tires on motor vehicles, including the Model T Ford

Harvey Firestone stretched his imagination — and his resources — to become a leading force in the automotive industry. Growing up on a farm in Columbiana, Ohio, Firestone knew how tiring a long ride in a wooden-wheeled buggy could be. He was convinced that rubber tires could take the discomfort out of rough-riding carriages. Others weren’t so easily convinced, and Firestone found himself engaged in a battle he likened to swimming upstream. First he had to convince others to invest in his business of selling, and later manufacturing, rubber carriage tires. Money was tight, and Firestone learned many valuable lessons about efficiency, innovation and marketing. Convinced that there was a large market in automobile tires, he formed Firestone Tire & Rubber in Akron, Ohio in 1900. By 1926 Firestone’s company was producing more than 10 million tires a year, about 25 percent of the total tire output in the United States. Reflecting on his success, Firestone said: “It takes energy, foresight and ability to pull against the current.”

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