|Carl W. Bertsch. The WISE Handbook of Basic Home Carpentry. |
New York: Wm. H. Wise & Co., Inc., 1952.
In 1911, Charles Gates bought the Colorado Tire and Leather Company in Denver, whose sole product was the Durable Tread, a band of leather imbedded with steel studs that early motorists wrapped around their tires to help extend the mileage on what passed for roads in those days. By 1917, the company name changed to the International Rubber Company, reflecting a change in its manufacturing material. The same year, Charles' brother John came up with a belt made of rubber and woven threading shaped like a V, which gave it its name. This was intended to replace the standard hemp rope belts used at the time to power machinery and automobiles. Eventually, this became the company's staple. Renamed the Gates Rubber Company, the company expanded across the U.S. and, in 1954, across the border to Brantford, Ontario. In 1980, it added the Uniroyal Power Transmission Company to its assets, becoming the world's largest producer of power transmission belts, a title it retains to this day. Family ownership ended in 1996 when the company was sold to Tomkins plc, a British engineering firm.