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February 15, 1957
ADDITIONS TO and improvements in plants and equipment
amounted to $58,570,529. Major additions were made to our plants
at home and abroad. Pictured above is a new Bag-O-Matic line at the
Memphis, Tennessee, plant.
EXPANDED CAPACITY and improvements in processing
equipment were provided for the production of natural and synthetic
rubber. The trade mark FR-S identifies the top quality synthetic
rubber made by the company.
THE PRODUCTION capacities of our synthetic rubber plants
at Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Akron, Ohio, have been substantially
increased. When these plants were purchased from the Government in
1955, they had a combined capacity of 129,600 long tons. When the
present expansion program is completed this year, capacity will be
230,000 long tons.
A NEW PLANT for the manufacture of coated fabric products
was established at Magnolia, Arkansas. Giant collapsible rubber tanks
like those above are manufactured at the plant and are designed for
oil, water or other liquids.
Address to Stockholders
(Continued From Page 2)
Our Company maintained its position as the world’s largest pro
ducer of rubber. Production of natural rubber was again increased on the
Firestone plantations in Liberia and on our research plantation in Guate
mala. More than 1200 acres of rubber trees were planted on our new
plantation in Brazil, and surveys are now in progress to find a suitable
site for our projected rubber plantation in the Philippines. Our program
of replanting our Liberian plantations with higher-yielding rubber trees
is proceeding on schedule.
The Firestone Plantations Company was chosen by the National
Planning Association for its fifth study of the performance of an American
business abroad. The Association made a detailed, on-the-spot inquiry into
the operations of the Plantations Company in Liberia and the effect of
these operations on the social, economic and political life of the country,
and it highly commends our Company for its Liberian operations.
Coral rubber, a new synthetic developed by Firestone research,
which has characteristics similar to that of natural rubber, has proved so
successful in truck tires tested by the Army Ordnance Department that
it may eliminate the need for costly stockpiling of natural rubber and
make the United States, in case of an emergency, completely independent
of foreign sources of rubber.
Again, last year, Firestone tires were on the winning cars in all
national championship race car events and in most stock car and sports
car races. For the thirty-third consecutive time. Firestone tires were on
the winning car in the 500-mile Indianapolis sweepstakes, and for the
twenty-eighth consecutive time on the car which won the Pikes Peak Climb.
THE COVER - -
The adoption of fourteen-inch wheels by most of the passenger
car manufacturers for their 1957 models necessitated extensive me
chanical changes in all of our domestic tire factories. Pictured on the
cover is a scene in the warehouse at the Memphis, Tennessee, plant
where workmen give passenger car tires one last inspection before
placing them on wooden pallets for storage until they are shipped to
automobile manufacturers and other customers.
TO HELP SUPPLY the synthetic rubber plants, a new plant
for the manufacture of butadiene, a principal raw material of syn
thetic rubber, is under construction as the first unit of a new Firestone
petrochemical center which is being established on a 1,000-acre site
at Orange, Texas. The Company also has a financial interest in a syn
thetic rubber plant now under construction in England.