February 15, 1958
Company Supplies Products For Country’s Defense
OUR COMPANY CONTINUES to be
a leading supplier of products for the
armed forces, including recoilless rifles,
artillery shells, guided missiles and
missile launchers. We continue to pro
duce the Corporal surface-to-surface
missile for the Army shown at left be
ing fired. Final assembly on the Cor
poral at the Los Angeles missile division
is shown above.
MISSILE LAUNCHERS for the
Regulus (shown below left) and other
submarine-launched missiles for the
Navy are made and designed. Launch
ing elements for the Terrier, the Marine
Corps antiaircraft missile, are being
modified. Firestone is also assisting in
the development of vital components
for the Air Force Matador, also a
surface-to-surface missile (below right).
National Safety Council to the three plants I have already named, Potts-
town, Bombay and Des Moines, and to Brentford, England; the Los Angeles
Guided Missile Division, and to Ravenna Arsenal.
A total of 50,146 men and women of Firestone and 118,407 dependents
now are protected by our employees’ group insurance plan which for the
year paid out a total of $8,108,229. Of this amount, $1,381,150 was in
death benefits and $5,433,380 was in hospital and surgical benefits.
FIRESTONE EMPLOYEES in Akron contributed 1,879 pints of blood
to the Red Cross, establishing an average of 157 pints a day against a
quota of 125 pints. Other Firestone plants also are participating in this
very worthy national program.
Last year the company awarded $98,960 to employees for 4,277 sug
gestions adopted under our suggestion program. The highest award of the
year was for $1,775 presented to Hugh Skelly of the Fall River, Mass.,
plant for his suggestion which resulted in a saving of material in the
manufacture of crash pads for automobiles.
Important milestones in the histories of seven Firestone plants were
appropriately marked during the year. The Pottstown plant produced its
50 millionth tire. The Lake Charles plant made its one millionth ton of
synthetic rubber. The plant at New Bedford, Mass., produced its one
millionth 155 mm. artillery shell. Our tire plant at Des Moines manu
factured its 20 millionth tire. The industrial products plant at Fall River
observed its twentieth birthday with a luncheon and a two-day open house.
The Memphis plant held a luncheon to celebrate its twentieth anniversary
and the production of its 70 millionth tire. And, finally, the newest
Firestone plant, our petrochemical center at Orange, Tex., was officially
opened on November 18 at a luncheon attended by your Board of Directors,
plant personnel and state and local officials.
♦ * *
YOUTH ACTIVITIES are encouraged by all Firestone plants. The
company continued to co-operate with and support such youth organiza
tions as the Future Farmers of America, 4-H Clubs and the Boy Scouts.
More employees than ever before participated in recreational activities
in Akron and in our other plants.
The Firestone Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to
worthy sons and daughters of Firestone employees who seek a college
education. Since 1953, when the program was inaugurated, 118 students
have been awarded scholarships, and they have been enrolled in 87 colleges
This scholarship program was developed by the management of the
company to make advanced educational opportunities available for the
children of employees who otherwise might not be able to afford a college
education. * *
THE NINE PUBLICATIONS of our factories in the United States
again received national recognition when they were awarded an Honor
Medal by the Freedoms Foundation in competition with publications of
hundreds of other companies. The company also received a certificate in the
annual awards program of the American Public Relations Association in
recognition of outstanding achievement in public relations in “promoting
international understanding through its activity in the Republic of
We continue to expand our educational aids program for public schools
and have distributed booklets, motion picture films and filmstrips on the
history and importance of the rubber industry for the use of teachers
In order to maintain high regard of the public for the company, our
community relations program was broadened last year in the cities where
our plants are located. Individual programs, comprising activities suitable
for each area, have been put into effect at the plant level.
The “Voice of Firestone,” the oldest coast-to-coast broadcast, becarne
the first program to begin thirty consecutive years on the air. It continues
to feature the greatest stars of the musical world and to add to the long
and imposing list of high honors it has received.
* sis *
OUR COMPANY’S POSITION for 1958 is excellent. Our production
facilities are equipped to turn out more and better products with greater
economy and efficiency than ever before. The quality of our products is
unsurpassed. Public preference for them is the highest in history. Our
distribution system is the largest and strongest in our fifty-seven years of
service to the American people. The Firestone sales organization has
demonstrated its ability to meet any challenge the future may hold.
During the coming year, it is expected that the volume of new pas
senger car, truck, tractor and road-building equipment sales will provide
a good market for original equipment tires. The greatly increased number
of motor vehicles in service will create an expanded market for the sale of
replacement tires and hundreds of other products sold through our dealers
and stores. In view of the favorable sales potential for all of our products,
we anticipate that 1958 will provide excellent opportunities for sales and