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16 October 2014
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Inventors - John Boyd Dunlop

John Boyd Dunlop , a Scotsman who was a practising Belfast vet, created the first working air-filled rubber tyre.

Greater Belfast

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The air-filled rubber tyre was first tested on his son's tricycle in May Street, Belfast in 1888. Although the idea had been experimented with by others, notably William Thompson some 40 years before, it is Dunlop who is accredited with the invention of the first pneumatic tyre which was commercially viable.

Within ten years of him patenting the device, it had almost entirely replaced solid tyres and was being manufactured for use in motor cars by Andre & Edouard Michelin.

Dunlop sold the patent for his invention and thus didn't make a great deal of money on it. The company he founded went on to be the huge Dunlop Rubber company of today. John Boyd Dunlop died in Dublin in 1921.

Your Responses:

Michael McIvoy - Mar '07
I now live in the village where John Dunlop was born, Dreghorn Irvine, Ayrshire, local council knocked his old house down by mistake, if I remember right there was a bicycle shop in Cromac sq, called Boyds.

Alex Gardner - Oct '06
Tyres are so awesome because if we didn't have tyres we couldn't travel or get to school.


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