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.
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