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February 16, 1959
FIRESTONE TIRES were on the winning cars in all national championship
races and in most stock and sports car events. These included the Indianapolis “500”
for the 35th consecutive time and the Monza, Italy, international “500” for the second
time. Left, Indianapolis winner Jimmy Bryan is congratulated by Raymond C. Firestone
and Actress Shirley MacLaine. Right, cars enter the first curve at Monza.
rubbers; new hose and metal products for the home appliance industry
and improved resilient paving materials for play areas.
Our company continued to be an important supplier of products and
services for national defense. We are playing a vital role in the manu
facture of the Army’s Corporal, and in research and development of the
Air Force’s Matador and the Navy’s Regulus, Terrier, and Polaris mis
siles. Among other defense products which we manufacture or on which
We perform research and development work are tires for aircraft and
vehicles, missile launchers, recoilless rifles, ammunition, fuel cells, propel
lants, tank components, radomes, rubber boats and floats, jet engine and
missile motor components and special weapons.
Firestone tires again were safety-proved on the speedway for greater
protection on the highway. They were on the winning cars in all national
championship race car events and in most stock and sports car races.
For the thirty-fifth consecutive time, they were on the winning car in
the 500-mile Indianapolis race, for the twenty-ninth consecutive time on
the car which won the Pikes Peak Climb and again on the winning car
in the second international 500-mile race at Monza, Italy.
OUR DISTRIBUTION is essentially through independent tire dealers.
The Firestone Dealer Franchise, one of the most progressive and most
profitable in the tire industry, has enabled thousands of dealers to build
permanent and successful businesses, and many dealers were added dur
ing the past year, enlarging our distribution. The Firestone Stores en
joyed a year of satisfactory sales and profits. They continued to maintain
a high standard of service to the public and to thousands of our dealers.
Three new sales districts were created last year, bringing to 50
the number the company has in the United States. The three districts,
with headquarters in Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; and
Nashville, Tennessee, comprise areas that are experiencing rapid popula
tion and business growth.
Since the last annual report, the following Vice Presidents were
elected: Joseph Thomas, vice president, secretary and general counsel;
Joseph A. Meek, vice president in charge of production; and Louis J.
Campbell, vice president in charge of all domestic subsidiaries, other
than tires. John L. Cohill became vice president, special assignments, a
iiew post in the company.
FOR YEARS OUR company has called nation-wide attention to the
necessity for building better and safer highways. During 1958, we con
tinued to promote highway safety by giving financial support and by
contributing the assistance of Firestone personnel.
We assisted in the nation-wide voluntary vehicle safety-check pro
gram of the Inter-Industry Highway Safety Committee. In addition, we
sponsored similar vehicle safety checks in nine Firestone plant cities,
during which 10,000 vehicles were safety checked. We were the first
industrial firm in the United States to conduct such a program.
Through the National Commission on Safety Education of the Na
tional Education Association, we are sponsoring a program in the nation’s
high schools. The purpose of this program is to create better driving
attitudes on the part of students, and to help to determine hazards in
school communities so that these hazards can be eliminated.
We extend our thanks to the men and women of Firestone in our
plants, offices, stores, warehouses, branches and plantations throughout
the world for their contributions to the success of our operations during
the past year. Their experience, skills and loyalty are among the com
pany’s most valuable assets.
^ V V
THE CONTINUOUS SERVICE records of employees in our Akron
plants, for example, reveal that thirty-three per cent of our factory and
office employees have been with the company twenty years or more.
FINEST MERCHANDISE, like this high fidelity
set, is offered by Firestone dealers and stores. Many
dealers were added during the year and Firestone
stores maintained their high standard of service. (Rec
ords shown are made from Firestone Exon.)
LATEST ADDITION to Firestone’s long list of synthetic rub
bers is Diene, the basic ingredient of which is butadiene made from
petroleum. It is a product of the same research program that led
several years ago to the development of Coral rubber, which is
essentially equivalent to natural rubber. Above, R. J. Pikna (right)
and C. H. Hammond, chemical engineers, collect important testing
data in the pilot plant.
—KWWI—JS. 2SSSSSIS12 mS
HIGHWAY SAFETY was again emphasized during the year.
Firestone assisted the Inter-Industry Highway Safety Committee
in its nation-wide voluntary vehicle safety-check for communities.
The company also sponsored vehicle safety checks in nine Firestone
plant cities, and was the first industrial firm to conduct such a pro
gram. Above, motorists enter a Firestone safety-check lane spon
sored by the Wyandotte, Mich., plant.