Charles Goodyear: Facts About the Famous Inventor

Here are some facts about Charles Goodyear

  • Charles Goodyear is best known for developing vulcanized rubber. The vulcanization process hardens rubber, making it suitable material to use for tyres.
  • The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company was named after him.
  • He was born in 1800, in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, and he died in 1860 in New York.
  • He sold his furniture to fund his experiments with India rubber. He was desperately looking for a way to make the rubber lose its stickiness.
  • He discovered that rubber dipped in nitric acid helped to keep the rubber hard, and Andrew Jackson (the 7th President of the United States) was so impressed he wrote to Goodyear to congratulate him.
  • He was once nearly suffocated in his lab by poisonous gases.
  • In 1839, Goodyear discovered that combining rubber and sulfur, and heating the mixture would cause the rubber to vulcanize. During the 1840s he continued to work on the process.
  • In 1852, a court case took place to see whether Thomas Hancock had come up with the process of vulcanization independently in Britain, or whether he’d copied Goodyear. It was decided that both men had invented the process.
  • In 1976 he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
  • He married Clarissa Beecher in 1824, and they had five children.
  • Before he began to experiment with rubber, he was a partner in a button-making and agricultural implement manufacturing business.
  • The Charles Goodyear Medal is awarded to those who are most innovative in the rubber industry.
  • He is buried in Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven.

Check out some facts about other famous inventors.

Alessandro Volta: Facts About the Famous Scientist

Here are some facts about Alessandro Volta.

  • Alessandro Volta was an Italian chemist and physicist. He discovered the gas methane, and is regarded as the inventor of the battery and the unit of measurement, the Volt.

  • He was born in Como, Italy in 1745. While at school, he learned Latin, French, English and German, all of which helped him to communicate later in his career with other European scientists.
  • Volta’s family wanted him to become a lawyer. However, he became a physics teacher at a local school and helped to invent a device that produced static electricity, called an electrophorus.
  • In 1778, Alessandro Volta was given the post of Head of Experimental Physics at the University of Pavia in Italy. He kept this important position for the next 40 years.
  • In 1791, Volta was voted a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. A few years later he was awarded the Society’s top prize for his contributions to the science of electricity.
  • In 1800, Volta invented a basic type of battery – the first of its kind. This invention led to the discovery of new chemical elements, and the development of the first electric motor.

Alessandro Volta

  • Volta worked closely with an Italian biologist, Luigi Galvani. The two experimented with conducting electricity through the legs of dead frogs, which led to Mary Shelley writing the famous book Frankenstein.
  • During his life, Volta travelled all over Europe meeting other scientists. The French emperor Napoleon was so impressed with his work that he made him a Count.
  • Alessandro Volta died in Italy in 1827. He is remembered with a memorial and a small museum near Lake Como, which displays some of his scientific equipment and experiments.
  • The electrical unit of a Volt was named for Alessandro Volta. He also gave his name to the term photovoltaic, meaning the conversion of light into electricity.