Led Goodyear to become the largest tire and rubber company in the world
Created numerous innovations including non-skid tires and pneumatic truck tires
Became a mass marketer of tires in conjunction with Sears, Roebuck & Company
Paul Litchfield believed that businesses, like people, start out daring but become cautious with age. Boston-born Litchfield studied chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and considered a career in the rubber industry at a time when cars were still operating on bicycle tires. He joined the newly-formed Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company as production superintendent in 1900. Fifteen years later, he became the company’s President. Litchfield believed that to prevent stagnation, business must “constantly renew itself from within.” Litchfield did that for Goodyear by finding better ways to make better tires: first, the straight-side tire in 1905, which could be locked and unlocked from the rim; then, the first non-skid tire in 1908; and later, the pneumatic truck tire. While Litchfield was celebrating his 50th anniversary with Goodyear, the company produced its 500 millionth tire. Litchfield was the only company employee who had been involved in producing every one.