- historical event: John Dunlop founded a veterinary clinic in Ireland along with his brother James. Dunlop originally developed the pneumatic tire for his son’s tricycle.
The famous John Boyd Dunlop, to whom we owe the popularization of the use of pneumatic tires on all road vehicles, was born on this day. The Dunlop tire brand is still respected throughout the world.
Dunlop was a Scot, and it is interesting that he studied to be a veterinarian at the famous University of Edinburgh, one of the most respected in Europe. Dunlopworked as a vet in his native Scotland, then in Ireland, where he established a veterinary clinic along with his brother James Dunlop. Interestingly, Dunlop was a friend of Queen Victoria.
Dunlop developed the pneumatic tire when he was already 47 years old. Originally these rubber tubes were intended for his son’s tricycle. The following year, Dunlop successfully patented his invention. In 1889 Dunlop’s tires proved to be extraordinarily successful when they were used to win numerous cycling races in Ireland and England.
However, bad news came when Dunlop’s patent was revoked because it was found that more than 40 years earlier, a certain Robert William Thomson in Scotland had patented a similar invention. This, of course, does not negate Dunlop’s merit, because during those 40 years the invention of the tube was forgotten, and Dunlop rediscovered it. His timeless merit, of course, lies also in popularizing the pneumatic tire. Dunlop remained a vet by profession, and did not become particularly rich because he left the production of tires to other entrepreneurs. However, the name Dunlop remains a strong brand in the industry to this day.