Monday, September 16, 2013

North British Rubber Co., Edinburgh, Scotland

In 1890, William Erskine Bartlett, working for the the North British Rubber Company, received a patent for a "clincher" detachable pneumatic tire.  Intended for bicycles, it had an improved beaded edge that locked the tire into position on the rim when it was filled with air.  This is the basis for all modern tires.  Around 1907, the fledgling Dunlop Tire Company purchased this patent for $937,000, or around $200M in today's dollars.

North British made a variety of rubber products during their day. Now known as Hunter Boot Ltd., their biggest product is rubber wellies.  Ain't that a kick in the pants?

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