New types of Exon vinyl resins were developed during the year for
SPECIALIZED USES. ThE ExON RESINS ARE PRODUCED AT THE POTTSTOWN, PENN
SYLVANIA, PLANT. Roger S. Firestone (left), President of the Firestone
Plastics Company, examines some of the resin.
and many governmental bodies on all levels are launching studies to con
sider the ways and means of bringing our country’s system of streets and
roads up to date.
Last summer our Company announced the discovery of a new, low-cost,
synthetic latex compound different from any rubber heretofore used in
Asphalt paving mixtures which contain this compound have a longer
life expectancy in roads as compared with conventional asphalt. This new
type of rubberized pavement should be more resistant to frost damage and,
since it is less brittle, it will not break up under traffic stress as rapidly as
The discovery of this new compound emphasized again our leadership
in the development of rubber-asphalt surfacing materials. Our research in
this promising field is being continued in collaboration with university
In^ 1953 Firestone Industrial Products Division increased its output,
producing substantially more Foamex for the automotive, furniture, trans
portation and bedding industries than in 1952.
DURING THE YEAR we began the production of air springs for
buses. It appears that this new method of suspension for motor vehicles
will gain wide acceptance in the automotive industry.
The Firestone Steel Products Division had its largest sales year in
1953. It continues to be the world’s largest manufacturer of truck and
tractor rims. Plant and manufacturing facilities were expanded during the
year and thereby increasing capacity to produce stampings for the auto-
ttiotive and home appliance industries and for national defense.
The textile plants of the Company can supply practically all of the tire
cord and square woven fabric requirements of our domestic plants and of
some of our foreign plants. Our Gastonia, North Carolina, plant is produc-
iiig rayon and nylon tire cord, cotton yarn and square woven fabrics and the
plant at Bennettsville. South Carolina, is making cotton fabrics. Substantial
Quantities of cotton yarns and fabrics were sold to outside customers.
The three plants of the Xylos Division reclaimed more rubber than any
other producer in the industry. With completion of our reclaim expansion
Pi'ogram at Los Angeles and Memphis, production capacity has been sub
stantially increased. * * *
OUR NATURAL RUBBER latex sales increased over 1952, and the
total amount used by Firestone and sold to customers was equal to one-third
all the latex used in the United States.
During the last year practically all major programs of our overseas
Want expansion were completed, putting the Company in a strong position
supply the increasing demand for tires abroad. This growing demand
be measured by the fact that on January 1, 1953, total world registra
tion of automotive vehicles outside the United States and Canada was about
ten per cent higher than the year before.
> During 1954 our fifteenth foreign plant is scheduled to be opened in
« Our agreement with Phoenix Rubber Company of Germany provides
an exchange of information and grants this company the right to use
^i^estone techniques and trademarks. As a result, the distribution of
^ i^estone-branded products in Germany is well under way.
Facilities for the manufacture of defense products were extended and
^^oduction was increased during 1953. We continue to make recoilless rifles;
^iinon for tanks; antiaircraft guns and mounts for naval vessels; gas
^^sks, and component parts for tanks, military vehicles, aircraft and jet
^Sines. * * *
GUIDED MISSILE production was accelerated. Important contribu-
to the defense program were made by our advanced research and
v^Velopment work. We continued to operate the Government arsenal at
^^enna, Ohio, for loading and storing munitions.
U ^ur former textile plant at New Bedford, Massachusetts, was converted
manufacture of artillery shells, and more than $11,000,000 of
Marquisette curtains, woven of Velon, a new synthetic yarn produced
BY the Firestone Plastics Company, are beautiful as well as practical.
Velon curtains are extremely durable and are easily kept clean.
The Textile plants of the Company supply practically all of the tire
CORD requirements OF THE DOMESTIC PLANTS AND SOME OF THE FOREIGN
CONTRO-COVERED RUBBER THREAD PRODUCED AT THE FaLL RiVER, MASSA
CHUSETTS, Industrial Products plant — is used for bathing suits and
MANY other items.