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On August 3,1965, The Firestone
Tire & Rubber Company celebrates
its 65th anniversary. This date is
worthy of much note. The attain
ment of such a milestone is a real
achievement in business, because,
while one of the major objectives
of most businesses is continuity,
many organizations are short-lived.
In a free and competitive society,
the fact that a business like
65 Years of Leadership
Firestone has reached 65 years
means that it has provided goods
and services that the public has
wanted over a period of many dec
ades, and during this time has
One can only conclude that with
such a record there has been good
management in the company in the
past and that the prospects for the
future are great.
With this publication, the
Firestone company expresses its
pride in past accomplishments and
its confidence that the future will
bring even greater progress.
The Firestone Story, spanning
65 years, is a colorful and dramatic
one, particularly in rubber produc-
tion and tire development.
Firestone’s record is unequaled in
the search for better materials and
for methods of improving products.
Firestone’s business success has
been very great —from a small be
ginning in an old foundry to world
wide operations— a tribute to the
steady building of financial
strength, sound distribution sys
tems, solid research and loyal ser
vice of employees of the Firestone
rHE FIRESTONE STORY
THE HARVEY S. FIRESTONE MEMORIAL was dedicated on the 50th anniversary of the company,
August 3, 1950, at the site of the Firestone Central Research Building overlooking the Akron plants.
The night scene, with Akron Plant 2 in the background, was taken as the five sons of the company
founder looked at the memorial which they had dedicated that day. From the left: Roger S.,
Raymond C., Leonard K., Russell A., and Harvey S. Firestone, Jr.
HE GOLD MEDAL
HIGHEST Award (or Solid and Cush
ion Rubber Tires was awarded by the
The Firestone Story is a story
of tradition, quality and progress.
Steady growth has marked the
company’s history since its found
ing by Harvey S. Firestone in
Akron, Ohio, August 3, 1900, with
assets of $20,000 and a tire-mount
ing patent. Sales for the year 1901,
the first full year of operation,
amounted to $110,000. In the fiscal
year of 1964 sales were the largest
in the history of the company,
amounting to a record $1,448,830,-
863. Assets of the company
amounted to $1,111,658,837.
♦ * >i
THE COMPANY started with Mr.
Firestone’s determination to build a genu
inely better product. Now it is a world
wide organization which manufactures
and markets not only 3,600 different sizes
and types of tires, but approximately
12,000 other products in the fields of
rubber, metals, plastics, synthetics, tex
tiles and chemicals.
At first the company sold tires made
by other firms, but in 1902 Mr. Firestone
bought a small building which had been
a foundry, at Miller and Sweitzer avenues
in Akron. He installed some second-hand
equipment and in 1903 was ready to
manufacture his own tires, so that he
could control the quality of the product
he sold. Twelve men were hired to build
Now nearly 86,000 men and women are
employed in plants in 23 countries and in
laboratories, test centers and sales offices
throughout the free world.
Firestone products are sold to the pub
lic through 60,000 independent dealers
and a network of more than 870 company-
owned stores in the United States. Some
of these dealers and stores stock as many
as 4,000 different home and auto supply
items, readily available to them from
the company’s warehouses and distribu
tion centers strategically located through
out the country.
In the areas of research and develop
ment, the company is continually seeking
to find new and improved ways to serve
the welfare and progress of mankind.
This search has led to hundreds of
“Firestone Firsts” in quality products and
services. The search for new and im
proved products continues under the
company’s slogan of long standing: “Best
Today, Still Better Tomorrow.”
* >i *
TIRES have always constituted
Firestone’s principal product. However,
as an outgrowth of its search for ways
to make better and safer tires, the com
pany has expanded into other fields.
Natural and synthetic rubber, textiles
for tire cord, chemicals for compounding
with rubber, and metals for rims all had
to be developed. These developments led
naturally to products other than tires,
including synthetics and plastics such as
the resins, films, sheetings and fibers
now being produced for hundreds of
Highlights of the early history of
Firestone were the introduction in 1900
of the solid rubber sidewire tire as one
of the company’s first products; develop
ment of the first mechanically fastened,
straight-side pneumatic automobile tire
in 1904; introduction of the universal rim
to accommodate either the straight-side
or the clincher tire in 1906; development
of the first commercial demountable rim
in 1907; and introduction of the first
angular non-skid tire ^read in 1908.
* * *
IN 1906 Firestone delivered 2,000 sets
of tires to the Ford Motor Company. It
was the largest single order of pneumatic
tires that had been placed by the auto
industry until that time.
Annual sales exceeded five million
dollars for the first time and annual
profits exceeded one million dollars for
the first time in 1910. A new plant, now
comprising part of Plant 1 which houses
the company’s home offices, was com
pleted in 1911 on Firestone Parkway in
The first experiments in the use of
cord fabric for automobile tires as a re
placement for square-woven fabric were
conducted by the company in 1915.
Firestone perfected a method of insu
lating tire cords against internal heat
by its now famous “Gum-Dipping” pro
cess in 1920; and in 1922 developed the
industry’s first low-pressure balloon tire.
Harvey S. Firestone was a leader in
many different movements to aid his
company, the industry, and the general
Jury ol Awards oi the Louisiana Pur
chase Exposition. St. Ij5uis, 1904, to ilie
Firestone Tire Rubber Company
Akron, Ohio, manufacturers of
Solid and Cushion Rubber Tires
lor Vehicles, Automobik's, Fire
Yorl. im Bro«lw.y
CK>c«r>. 550 Av«.
mMphU. 828 Arch St.
THE FIRST PAGE of one of the earliest pieces of advertising
issued by the company (1904). Already Firestone products were
gaining acclaim and the company sent the booklet to "respon
sible carriage and wagon builders" and to a list of 7,000
IN A "ONE MAN WAGON," rubber-tired racing buggy,
Harvey S. Firestone drove his horse, Fred Hopper, at the
Grosse Pointe Race Track at Detroit in 1893. At the time Mr.
Firestone was a salesman in Detroit for the Columbus Buggy
Company, and this vehicle is thought to be the first equipped
with pneumatic tires in the Detroit area. The experience with
this buggy strongly influenced the later decision of Mr. Firestone
to enter the tire business.
EVEN AFTER PNEUMATIC tires were in wide use there
was still a great market for the solid tire for carriages and
motor buggies. This solid tire exhibit at a New York carriage
show about 1908 shows the tires which were sold in coils
and cut to length by dealers.