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Rubber

 


By Ralph C. Busbey

A Centennial History of Akron 1825-1925

Summit County Historical Society, Akron, Ohio 1925, p 313-345

MORE than half of Akron's century span of existence has revolved principally around the rubber manufacturing business and its development.

Fifty-five years ago, when the rubber industry was embryonic and unknown west of the Allegheny Mountains, Akron was a smug little municipality of less than ten thousand inhabitants, nestling cozily in the then rather sparsely settled hills of Northern Ohio. Although at that time virtually the hub of the har­vesting machinery business of the world and the seat of other promising industries, Akron boasted of no great industrial enterprise of such tremendous potentialities as have since been developed by the rubber industry. Its skies then were only lightly sullied by the smoke of industry. The little city had just begun to thrill under the first touch of the romance of industrialism.

That Akron of fifty-five years ago contrasts strikingly with the Akron of today,—the city preeminent as the Rubber Manufacturing Headquarters of the world;—a city of more than 200,000 population ;—a city pulsative with industrial energy and bristling with business vigor;—a city whose rubber and tire factories have a combined acreage of factory floor space today far greater than was the total ground area covered by the entire original city of Akron;—a city which, as the mainspring of one of the mightiest and fastest growing industrial giants known to mankind, girdles the civilized world with its products.

Today more than half of the world's total production of tires and rubber goods comes from Akron's mighty industrial institutions where more than 50,000 men and women obtain their livelihood. In Ak­ron's rubber factories tens of thousands of light bulbs sparkle as men toil late into the hours of the night, and often all night through, in order to meet the world's growing demand for Akron's rubber products. In these factories more than half a million horse power of steam and electrical energy are consumed every 24 hours. Here thousands of massive machines grumble and throb, turning out every 24 hours more than 100,000 pneumatic automobile tires and 150,000 inner tubes, fully 150 tons of solid tires for trucks, 15 miles or more of rubberized conveyor and transmission belting, 400 miles of rubber bands, 20 miles of garden and fire hose, miles of railroad air brake and steam hose, tons of rubber couplings, nearly a million rubber heels and rubber hoots and shoes for fully 25,000 people in addition to hundreds of tons of more than 30.000 different rubber commodities and novelties. Here the yawning maws of industry are fed more than 150,000 tons of crude rubber and over 300,000 hales of cotton annually, in addition to millions of pounds of chemicals and other supplies. Here employees' payrolls reach $75,000,000 a year and the revenues from the sales of finished rubber products approximate more than $380,000,000 a year.

As the list of Akron-made rubber articles numbers up into the 30,000 it is of course impossible to enu­merate them. Let it suffice, therefore, that every rubber article known to the civilized world is made in Akron from the tiniest rubber washer to the mammoth rubberized silken hulls of the Leviathans of the air—the dirigibles Shenandoah and Los Angeles; from rubber bands to conveyor and transmission belts 2000 feet long, which when rolled for shipment weigh thousands of pounds and stand 8 feet high; from toy balloons to hot water bottles, druggists' rubber sundries and surgical supplies; and from tire repair patches the size of a quarter to giant pneumatic and solid tires.

It was in 1870 that Destiny, aided by a few of Akron's progressive citizens, principal among whom was Col. George T. Perkins, (1836-1910) oldest son of Col. Simon Perkins, first began to shape Akron as a mighty city of industry.

Five years after the close of the Civil War, a young man who had served in it as a surgeon but who had forsaken his profession to enter the real estate business in New York, acquired stock in the Hudson River Rubber Company near Hastings-on-Hudson, as result of a real estate transaction. The location was not profitable and the young owner at the suggestion of a friend came to Akron to investigate advertised factory sites and the availability of inexpensive water power from the Ohio canal.

The young man, then 29, was Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich. His visit marked the founding of the rubber industry in Akron and resulted in the establishment on the banks of the old canal just south of Exchange St., of the first rubber factory west of the Alleghenies. Dr. Goodrich was handicapped by lack of funds. Colonel Perkins had faith in him and in his project and persuaded 18 other Akron business leaders to join him, each loaning $1,000. This sum of $19,000 plus $5,000 from Dr. Goodrich's real estate partner in the East, constituted the capital of the little company. A small building was secured and manufacturing operations started under the name of Goodrich, Tew & Co. Articles of copartnership were drawn up on December 31, 1870, with Dr. Goodrich, Harvey Tew, Henry S. Sanderson, Robert Newland and David N. Marvin as members of the company.

The first rubber article produced in Akron was fire hose. Dr. Goodrich before coming to Akron had seen a friend's home destroyed by fire because the hose was so poor it had burst. In launching his new project in Akron he determined to make a fire hose that would stand up under pressure, and as result this hose, known as "White Anchor," soon became famous.

The company struggled along for four years when the partnership was succeeded by Goodrich & Company, George W. Crouse providing the timely financial assistance which gave the firm needed working capital and its actual start towards progress and prosperity. In 1879, Alanson Work, father of the company's present chief executive, became superintendent and to his energy and leadership is ascribed a large measure of the company's subsequent success.

On May 1, 1880, the B. F. Goodrich Company ap­plied for incorporation, the charter being granted May 10 for capital stock of $100,000. The incorporators were Dr. Goodrich, Colonel Perkins, George W. Crouse. Alanson Work and R. P. Marvin, Jr. At the organization on June 16, 1880, Dr. Goodrich was elect­ed president, Mr. Work vice president and superin­tendent, and Col. Perkins, secretary and treasurer. The following year Alanson Work succumbed and Dr. Goo rich became superintendent as well as presi­dent wit George W. Crouse as vice president. Mr. Work's idow, Mrs. Etta W. Work, was elected to fill his v cancy on the hoard of directors.

Failing health caused Dr. Goodrich to relinquish the reins of control and go West for his health. He died suddenly on August 13, 1888, Colonel Perkins being elected to succeed him as president. H. C. Corson was elected secretary and treasurer and Dr. Good­rich's widow, Mrs. Mary M. Goodrich, was honored with election to her husband's place on the directorate. Bertram G. Work, the present chief executive, suc­ceeded Col. Perkins on January 10, 1907.

Since its incorporation the company's vice presi­dents have been Alanson Work, Col. Perkins, George W. Crouse, H. C. Corson, B. G. Work, F. H. Mason, H. E. Raymond, E. C. Shaw, C. B. Raymond, W. A. Means, A. H. Marks, H. K. Raymond, W. 0. Rutherford, W. C. Geer and A. B. Jones. The company has had but six secretaries—Col. Perkins, George W. Crouse, R. P. Marvin, C. B. Raymond, Guy E. Norwood and F. C. Van Cleef. The treasurers have been Col. Perkins, H. C. Corson, W. A. Folger, W. A. Means and L. D. Brown. The present executive personnel includes Mr. Work as president and chairman of the board of directors; C. B. Raymond, vice chairman of the board; W. A. Means, W. 0. Rutherford and Dr. W. C. Geer, vice presidents; F. C. Van Cleef, secretary; L. D. Brown, treasurer and H. Hough, comptroller. Mr. Rutherford now is the presi­dent of the Rubber Association of America.

When the Goodrich Company started, the use of rubber products was extremely limited. As compared to the single line of Goodrich production—fire hose—of fifty years ago the company today produces over 35 carloads of more than 30,000 different rubber articles a day, and as compared to the original two-story factory building, the Goodrich factories in Akron consist of more than 60 towering buildings containing over 135 acres of floor space. Sales of the company in 1924 were $109,817,686.  

Goodrich ramifications are world wide, with subsidiary and allied factories and selling companies in many countries, and branches in all parts of the world. Goodrich subsidiary and allied manufacturing com­panies include the British-Goodrich Rubber Co., Ltd., of Leyland, England; the Continental Caoutchouc and Gutta Percha Compagnie, of Hanover, Germany, the largest European rubber and tire factory ; the Societe Francaise B. F. Goodrich, Colombes, France ; the Yokahoma Rubber Co., of Japan and the Canadian Goodrich Co., Ltd., of Kitchener, Ontario, and the B. F. Good­rich Rubber Co., S. S. Ltd., of Capetown, South Africa. Selling subsidiaries of the Canadian company are the B. F. Goodrich Co., Ltd., and the Ames-Holden Tire & Rubber Corp., Ltd., while a selling subsidiary of the French company is the Sociedad Anonima B. F. Goodrich of Madrid, Spain. Goodrich factories in Japan were destroyed during the recent earthquake there.

It is interesting to note that one of the original Goodrich employees when the company was incorpo­rated in 1880 still is with the company. He is Percy W. Leavitt who enjoys a record of more than 45 years of uninterrupted service in this one company. Others prominent in Goodrich affairs in the earlier days include Chas. C. Goodrich of New York, John H. Kelly, now president of the Hewitt Rubber Company of Buf­falo ; H. C. Corson who served for many years as sales manager and who removed to Nova Scotia ; the late Joseph P. Dangel of the hard rubber division; J. W. Kelly, who died a few years ago in Boston; E. C. Shaw, now retired but active in philanthropic move­ments in Akron; E. C. Tibbitts, for many years advertising manager, and H. E. Joy, E. L. Toy, A. P. Lohman, John F. McGuire, Chas. S. Eddy, Chas. Stacy, A. J. Wills, A. D. Moss, H. A. Bauman, Newton Johnston, Otis Cook and others. When Mr. Corson entered the Goodrich employ as a stenographer in the early seventies, he was one of the city's few short-hand writers.

The first tires to be made in Akron were solid rubber bands for the wheels of the old fashioned high bi­cycles, in the early eighties. The next step in the evolution of the rubber shod wheel came with the manufacture of solid rubber tires for carriages, followed by the pneumatic bicycle tire. Then came the automobile—the greatest accelerator of the rubber business—and the success of the first solid and pneu­matic tires for carriages and bicycles resulted, in 1896, in the production of the first pneumatic tires for automobiles. 

From that meager start, with only a few hundred such tires produced the first year, the tire business has grown to gigantic proportions with more than 50,000,000 pneumatic casings being produced in the United States every year—more than half that num­ber in Akron alone.

Goodrich was the first in Akron to make pneumatic tires, and also one of the first to manufacture golf balls, the company having developed the golf ball business to one of commanding proportions today.

The second Akron rubber company had its inception in 1892 when Jacob Pfeiffer, John Grether and John Lamparter, who operated a retail drug store, pooled their savings and entered the rubber business. In a comparatively short time they had lost nearly $50,000 but undaunted started over again, borrowing money to build a 20 x 50 factory. Their combined resources, of $250, they used to buy their first case of rubber. The company started making rubber gloves and grew rapidly. William F. Pfeiffer, Jacob Pfeiffer's brother, and Harvey Miller joined the three on May 1, 1898 and the business was incorporated for $50,000 under the name of the Miller Rubber Manufacturing Company. In 1906 it was reincorporated as the Miller Rubber Company, entering the tire manufacturing business several years later.

Today the company which started with only $250 resources, is capitalized at $60,000,000. It has 26 factory buildings, over 30 acres of floor space and a capacity of more than 1,000,000 pieces of manufactured merchandise a day, with daily production exceeding 100 tons. Jacob Pfeiffer is president, William F. Pfeiffer is secretary, treasurer and general manager. Other officers include: C. T. Grant, vice president; R. R. Jennings, comptroller and assistant treasurer, and Charles R. Wetzel, assistant secretary. F. C. Millhoff is general sales manager. The company's sales in 1924 were approximately $30,000,000.

Akron's third rubber company was launched in 1894 under the name of The Sherbondy Rubber Co., under the leadership of Ohio C. Barber, president of the Diamond Match Company and founder of the city of Barberton. The company was formed to operate in the plant across Failor St., from the Goodrich factories, vacated by the Diamond Match Company when it moved to its new quarters in Barberton. The company began the manufacture of bicycle tires and drug specialties. In 1896 the name was changed to the Diamond Rubber Company when it began the manufac­ture of automobile tires. Three years later the company was joined by A. H. Noah, as secretary and treasurer. In 1898 the company increased its size and F. A. Hardy and W. B. Hardy of the Revere Rubber Company and W. B. Miller and A. H. Marks joined Mr. Noah in active management.

Mr. Marks in 1899 invented a new alkali process for reclaiming rubber and the Diamond Rubber Company established in South Akron a reclaiming plant. This concern grew rapidly and in 1904 Diamond and Goodrich united in forming the Alkali Rubber Company to carry on the reclaiming business under the Marks patents. The Diamond Company added steadily to its lines of products and in 1912 merged with the Good­rich Company, the latter buying it for $45,000,000 and increasing its own capitalization from $45,000,000 to $90,000,000. Prominent in the Diamond organization were many men who were afterward prominently identified with the Goodrich and other companies, in­cluding A. H. Marks, W. B. Miller, A. H. Noah, 0. S. Hart, David Galehouse, I. R. Bailey, 0. J. Woodard, C. B. Myers, James D. Tew, N. S. Noble, A. L. Pardee, H. E. Riker, G. E. Norwood, Theodore Weigele, A. B. Jones, Dr. D. Spence, George Oenslager, James Cutler, John Noonan, Thos. S. Lindsay, Mark Roe, James A. Braden, F. I. Reynolds, L. G. Fairbank, H. M. Bacon, F. L. Lamson, Wm. Metzler, E. E. Sattler, L. M. Latta, and M. A. Flynn.

Late in the autumn of 1898 a young man rather short of stature and wiry of physique, purchased 12 acres of ground and a ramshackle strawboard box factory in East Akron. He borrowed $3,500 and gave his personal notes for $9,000 more. Thus with capital of $12,500, F. A. Seiberling, one of the foremost and most romantic figures in the industry, launched the company to which he gave the name of Goodyear, to perpetuate the name and fame of Charles Goodyear, the Yankee inventor who had given to the world the discovery of the process of vulcanization. It was Dec. 8, 1898, that the boilers were fired and the Goodyear Company began to make solid carriage tires and pneu­matic bicycle tires.

Mr. Seiberling had been associated, prior to his entry into the rubber business, with his father, J. F. Seiberling, in the J. F. Seiberling Company, owners of the Empire Mower and Reaper Works in Akron. As­sociated with him from the start in the Goodyear Com­pany was his brother, Charles W. Seiberling. P. W. Litchfield, a New Englander, joined Goodyear in 1901 and built the company's first pneumatic automobile tire. He has since directed the construction of more than 70,000,000 Goodyear tires. In 1903 G. M. Stadelman joined the Goodyear as manager of carriage tire sales, and later became sales manager and then vice president in charge of sales. He is now president of the company. Mr. Litchfield climbed rapidly in the organization to his present position of first vice presi­dent and factory manager.

After the actual production start of the little company on Dec. 8, 1898, the clear sailing was short lived. On Christmas day of the same year, Mr. Seiberling was notified that a decision of the United States Dis­trict Court completely validated solid tire patent claims of a firm which had been making solid tires long before Seiberling entered the business. Seiber­ling immediately sought to secure manufacturing rights under the patent, but before this could be done the patentee had instituted infringement proceedings against him. Undaunted, the "Little Napoleon of the Rubber Industry"—for it was then that he first gained that appellation—launched into production of solid tires as vigorously as possible, and in four months had made such inroads into the business of the mil­lion dollar patentee concern that the latter suggested withdrawal of its suit if Seiberling would limit his production to $50,000 worth of tires annually and con­fine sales to orders from the patent owners.

Mr. Seiberling refused to sign the armistice, re­jecting the compromise offer and redoubling his pro­duction effort. Soon he had a contract for $600,000 worth of solid tires. Finally the litigation came to a head and after tedious days of court hearing, the patent involved was declared null and void. Seiberling and Goodyear had won a notable victory—one of the most notable patent victories in the history of the rubber industry, and a victory that spelled expansion and prosperity for all Akron makers of solid tires.

The victory created one of the memorable events in Akron's history. All Akron rejoiced over Seiber­ling's successful resistance of the infringement suit. Bells were rung throughout the city. Whistles were tooted. It was not only a Goodyear victory—but an Akron victory and Akron citizens turned out en masse to celebrate. Goodyear subsequently weathered other financial storms and patent infringement suits, and became the largest rubber manufacturing concern in the world, Goodyear sales under Mr. Seiberling's leadership climbing to more than $168,000,000 in 1919 when Goodyear factories turned out 6,800,000 tires for automobiles, bicycles, motorcycles and trucks.

Mr. Seiberling continued as the company's president until 1921, when control of the company passed into the hands of financial interests.

In 1921 F. A. Seiberling and C. W. Seiberling stepped out and E. G. Wilmer of Milwaukee became the Goodyear president. Mr. Seiberling immediately started a new company, the Seiberling Rubber Company, many of his old Goodyear associates going with him in the new venture. Principal among these was I. R. Bailey, for years with the Diamond Company and also with Goodyear, who became the Seiberling vice president in charge of sales. He succumbed in 1923. In 1923 Mr. Wilmer became the Goodyear chair­man and Mr. Stadelman was elevated to the presidency with Mr. Litchfield as first vice president and factory manager, F. K. Espenhain as vice president. Prominent in Goodyear affairs for years have been L. C. Rockhill, sales manager; C. A. Stillman, secretary; W. D. Shilts, assistant secretary; P. H. Hart, treasurer; William Stephens, general superintendent; and C. C. Slusser, factory staff manager.

The Goodyear factories in Akron consist of 80 buildings with over 100 acres of floor space. Sales of the Akron company in 1924 were $115,323,174.

Goodyear was the first Akron rubber company to enter the rubber plantation business, penetrating the jungles on the Island of Sumatra in the Far East in 1916 and establishing a 20,000 acre plantation which now has more than a million rubber trees under cultivation. Goodyear also transformed the sand dunes of the Salt River valley in Arizona into a fertile cotton plantation of 56,000 acres. Goodyear subsidiary and allied companies include the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Export Co. ; the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company of California, operating at Los Angeles the largest tire factory on the Pacific Coast ; the Goodyear Cotton Mills, Inc., operating cotton mills at Killingly, Conn.; Devon Mills, a big fabric plant at New Bedford, Mass.; the South West Cotton Company, the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation, and the Goodyear Rubber Planta­tions Co., in Sumatra.

Just as Goodyear was getting under way, Harvey S. Firestone acquired interests in the carriage tire department of an Akron carriage factory and in 1900 bought an old foundry building in South Akron and began the production of solid tires. The original payroll of the Firestone company contained 12 names. Today Firestone employees number into the many thousands with branches throughout the world and the company's factories in Akron represent one of the most completely equipped industrial institutions of the world. Mr. Firestone early asserted his leadership in the rubber industry. He aided in organizing the Rubber Association of America and served as its president in 1916 and 1917. The company's sales in 1910 were $7,500,000 as compared to $85,610,004 in 1924—a 12 fold increase in the last 14 years. With the outbreak of the World War, Firestone built a plant for construction of balloons for the government. The company has since built in Akron one of the largest rim plants in the world, operated by The Firestone Steel Products Company.

The Firestone organization covers the entire world with branches, manufacturing subsidiaries, etc. In­cluded in the Firestone subsidiary and allied com­panies are the Firestone Steel Products Co., of Akron, rim manufacturers; the Firestone Tire & Rubber Com­pany of Maine, an export organization; The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, Ltd., of London, England, manufacturers of reclaimed rubber, and The Xylos Rubber Co. of Akron, also manufacturers of reclaimed rubber; The Oldfield Tire Co., of Akron, tire manufac­turers; The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company of Canada, Ltd., operating large tire factories at Hamil­ton, Ontario; the Firestone-Apsley Rubber Co., of Hudson, Mass., manufacturers of rubber footwear; the Firestone Cotton Mills of Fall River, Mass.; and the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., S. S. Ltd., of Singapore, a crude rubber buying organization. 

Mr. Firestone was one of the first to see the need for concerted action upon the part of American rub­ber manufacturers in shaking off their almost total dependence upon Great Britain for their rubber and in 1922 and 1923 inaugurated the "America Should Grow Her Own Rubber" campaign which resulted in a $500,­000 congressional appropriation to investigate the pos­sibilities of growing rubber under American capital, in foreign countries. Mr. Firestone, continuing his campaign, has launched his own rubber growing project in Liberia and also is interested in a rubber growing movement in Florida.

When the Firestone company was organized, James Christy, Jr., became president with Harvey S. Firestone as treasurer, J. A. Swinehart as vice president and Dr. L. E. Sisler as secretary. Two years later Will Christy succeeded James Christy as president and Mr. Firestone became general manager. The following year, 1903, Mr. Firestone became president and Will Christy became vice president. In 1905 S. G. Carkhuff became secretary and in 1911 James G. Rob­ertson, now president of the Akron Chamber of Com­merce, became treasurer. Vice presidents of the com­pany have been J. A. Swinehart, Will Christy, Amos Miller, R. J. Firestone, John W. Thomas, A. G. Part­ridge and Thomas Clements. Present officers are Harvey S. Firestone, president; John W. Thomas, vice president; S. G..Carkhuff, secretary and J. J. Shea, treasurer. Al. Wegmiller, now the Firestone pumping station and club house engineer, was Mr. Firestone's first engineer. He is the only one of the original force still with the company. Two of the older Firestone employees still with the company are Miss V. M. Greer, now cashier, and Dan Goodenberger, now manager of the solid tire department, who have been with the company since 1904.

With the natural acceleration of the automobile business and the rapid development of the pneumatic tire, other rubber and tire companies were established in and near Akron. Those already established expanded rapidly and millions of dollars were spent for factory additions and new equipment.

Prior to 1900 practically all rubber came from the jungles of Brazil, although seeds of rubber trees had been transplanted from Brazil to the Kew Gardens in England in 1876 by Sir Henry Wickham, now known as the "Father of Plantation Rubber." This cultivation resulted in the establishment of the first rubber plantations in the Orient and in 1900 the plantations in the Far East gave their first yield of rubber - four tons. By 1907 these plantation areas were yielding about 1,000 tons annually.

It was about this time that "King Rubber" began to wave his magic wand. He built new kingdoms over night, transformed wastes into thriving settle­ments and barren lands into beehives of industry. Ak­ron gained the reputation of being the "fastest growing city in the United States." Rubber factories sprang up almost over night. Vast uncultivated areas of the Orient, once reeking with the stagnation of malaria breeding quagmires were transformed into wonderful rubber plantations and began to yield abundantly of nature's riches as gigantic oak, camphor and teak trees in the virgin jungles made way for long avenues of rubber trees. Desert stretches with their cacti, sage brush and alkali dust began to make way for fertile cotton plantations to provide cotton for the fabric which is so essential a part of the pneumatic tire.

The once virgin jungles of Sumatra, and the Malay states in the Far East became rich in their growth of the cultivated rubber tree, plantations spreading over millions of acres with thousands of sinewy Sumatran and Malayan coolies employed to collect the milky white juice of the rubber tree, coagu­late it and prepare it for shipment to Akron's growing factories. In the sun blistered Salt River valley of Arizona, amid the sand dunes of Southern California and along the peaceful Nile mammoth cotton plantations developed while amid the peaceful environs of New England there sprang up many cotton and spinning mills to make the millions of yards of fabric required in tire building.

Plantation rubber production could scarcely keep apace of the demand, even this, Akron's centennial year, finding an actual rubber shortage despite the fact that there are today more than 4,000,000 acres devoted to rubber plantations which this year alone will produce more than 400,000 tons of rubber.

Akron's rubber companies began to expand their ramifications, several of them establishing subsidiary manufacturing companies in foreign countries and in Canada, and locating branches throughout the entire world.

In 1901 Theodore E. Smith founded India Rubber Review, the only rubber journal ever published in Akron and today the recognized tire and rubber authority with world wide circulation. Mr. Smith transferred editorial and publishing offices to Akron, from Chicago, shortly after founding the magazine, and continued at its helm until 1920 when its control was acquired by Edward S. Babcox. The magazine is published monthly, going to all parts of the world. Mr. Babcox now is president and publisher of the India Rubber Review, with Ralph C. Busbey as vice president and editor ; H. H. Harriman as associate editor; W. C. Doerler as secretary and business manager, and Miss H. L. Sanders, circulation manager.

It is of course impossible to recount the histories of rubber companies in Akron that have come and gone, the data herein contained being confined neces­sarily to tire and rubber companies in existence in Akron and its environs in this, Akron's centennial year. It is also impossible to enumerate all of Akron's contributions to the rubber industry. However, it must be stated that men who have been prominent in the rubber industry here have given to the world most of that which has contributed to the great ex­pansion of the industry to its present status. F. A. Seiberling gave the tire industry the first practical tire building machinery which eliminated the hand method of building tires and greatly accelerated produc­tion. A. H. Marks developed one of the first successful methods of reclaiming rubber. There are count­less contributions to the industry such as the work of Dr. W. C. Geer, vice president of the Goodrich Company, in figuring prominently in the development of gas masks for use by the American Expeditionary Forces during the World War; the many tire inventions of J. A. Swinehart; the development of the modern day golf ball and the valuable contributions in this direc­tion of John Gammeter of the B. F. Goodrich Company; the pioneering in aeronautics and the construction of lighter-than-air craft in Akron under the leadership of F. A. Seiberling and P. W. Litchfield of the Goodyear Company; the work of John F. Palmer, inventor of one of the first pneumatic bicycle tires ever produced, and inventor also of the cord tire; the pioneering work of Akron tire technicians in developing the first pneumatic tire for buses and trucks and the latest improvement in tire construction—the low air pressure or balloon tire. Akron owes its prestige as the home of "Silvertown" tires to the work of A. H. Marks during the days when the Diamond Rubber Company was at its peak, prior to its consolidation with Goodrich, for it was largely through the efforts of Mr. Marks that the Silvertown cord tire manufacturing rights were secured for $750,000 cash, by the Diamond Company.

The history of the cord tire, about which most of Akron's development has centered, is indeed inter­esting. At a bicycle show held in Philadelphia more than 35 years ago, J. F. Palmer, who later became famous in connection with tire construction, exhibited what then was called a puncture-proof bicycle tire. It was crude in construction but interesting in theory and Goodrich representatives became so impressed with it that they persuaded Mr. Palmer to come to Akron to further develop the tire. After a series of experiments the new tire finally was brought out but the real success of the Palmer bicycle tire, however, was only achieved when Mr. Palmer conceived the idea of using parallel threads or cords in place of a woven fabric. Patents on this method were obtained early in 1893. The B. F. Goodrich Company was the exclusive manufacturer in the United States for this new Palmer tire but Mr. Palmer issued his patents in a number of foreign countries. In later years Mr. Palmer used the same cord principle in developing the first cord pneumatic tire for automobiles, a tire which rapidly is replacing the fabric tire. 

With the advent of the automobile Christian Gray, then technical director of the India Rubber Co., and Thomas Sloper undertook to produce a clincher auto­mobile tire, embodying the Palmer bicycle cord principle. Over a dozen patents were taken out by them on this construction, between 1904 and 1911. In 1909 the Diamond Rubber Company of Akron purchased the American rights under the patents, and the B. F. Goodrich Company acquired the same rights in 1912 by purchase of the Diamond Rubber Company. 

One of the earlier rubber companies was the Star Rubber Company, founded in 1907 by S. E. Duff, its first president; Homer A. Hine, its first secretary, and J. W. Miller, the first treasurer. L. H. Firey became president in 1916 when the company launched actively in the tire manufacturing business, having previously made druggists' rubber sundries. Present officers are L. H. Firey, president; R. L. Robinson, vice president, and D. A. Grubb, vice president and sales manager; J. W. Dessecker, secretary, and R. G. Shirk, treasurer. The company now is capitalized at more than $1,000,­000 and has capacity for 750 tubes and 600 tires a day. 

The Mohawk Rubber Company, of Akron, was founded in 1913 by S. S. Miller, Francis Seiberling, J. K. Williams, C. W. MacLaughlin, R. M. Pilmore and F. J. Mishler, with capital stock of $350,000. It took over the plant of the Stein Double Cushion Tire Co., and from an original production of 20 tires a day has built its output to 1500 tires and 2200 inner tubes daily. Sales in 1924 exceeded $3,413,000. Present officers are S. S. Miller, president and general manager; Fran­cis Seiberling, vice president; R. E. Bloch, treasurer; H. H. McCloskey, secretary and comptroller and J. F. Jones, sales manager. 

Two years before the founding of the Mohawk Company, Adam Duncan formed the American Tire & Rubber Company which was reorganized in 1916 as the American Rubber and Tire Company, with Fred H. Snyder as president. Upon Mr. Snyder's death early in 1924, his son Floyd C. Snyder succeeded to the presidency which office he now holds with J. T. Johnson as vice president and treasurer. The company devotes its activities principally to the manufacture of tires and tubes. 

The General Tire & Rubber Company of Akron was the outgrowth of an accessory business estab­lished by William O'Neil in Kansas City. Deciding to enter the manufacture of tires, Mr. O'Neil transferred his business to Akron and the company was founded in 1916 with $200,000 capitalization. Original officers were M. O'Neil, (pioneer of Akron's department store merchants) president; Wm. O'Neil, vice president and general manager; Charles Herberich, treasurer; and W. E. Fouse, secretary. The first year's business was $219,000 as compared to more than $13,000,000 in sales in 1924. In 1924 M. O'Neil retired from the presi­dency and became chairman of the board. William O'Neil became president and general manager. Oth­er present officers are C. J. Jahant, vice president; W. E. Fouse, vice president; Charles Herberich, treasurer; T. F. O'Neil, secretary and W. J. Cahill, assistant sec­retary and treasurer.

The Kelly-Springfield Tire Company, whose main factory was for many years in Akron, was the out­growth of the Rubber Tire Wheel Co., organized in 1895 by Edwin S. Kelly of Springfield, Ohio. In 1899 this company was taken over by the Consolidated Rubber Tire Company and in 1914 the name was changed to the Kelly-Springfield Tire Company. Although the company's main plant now is at Cumberland, Md., it operates its original Akron factory as its principal branch production center. Emerson McMillen was the first president, followed by Isaac L. Rice in 1900 and Van H. Cartmell in 1902. Mr. Cartmell was succeeded by A. B. Jones in 1921 and in 1923 Arnold L. Scheuer, present incumbent, became president. Samuel Woolner, Jr., now is chairman with Mr. Scheuer as president, Frederick A. Seaman as first vice president, Maurice Switzer, Thomas C. Marshall and Clarence A. Brown as vice presidents, C. P. Stewart-Sutherland as secretary, Herbert B. Dalapierre as treasurer and Milton Lachenbruch, as auditor.

J. M. Alderfer, P. C. Searles, D. A. Grubb and J. K. Williams were founders of the India Tire & Rub­ber Co., in 1916. Capitalized at $250,000, the company started production in February, 1918. Mr. Al­derfer has served as president since incorporation. Mr. Searles, originally the secretary, now is secretary and treasurer. J. K. Williams has served as vice president from the start. As indicative of the company's rapid growth production now is at the rate of over 1200 tires daily. The company is capitalized at over $1,300,000 and in 1924 had sales exceeding $3,000,000.

The Swinehart Tire & Rubber Co., organized in 1904 by J. A. Swinehart, E. C. Swinehart, H. F. Siecrist, F. E. Ream and Henry Feuchter started with capital of $100,000, manufacturing solid tires. Mr. Swinehart served as president and in 1905 sold to the company the property of the Rubber Specialty Co., on North Howard st., which he owned. The company expanded to handle production of pneumatic tires and in 1909 W. W. Wuchter became president and manager. T. F. Walsh assumed the presidency in 1921, the company adding a cushion tire line in that year. From sales of $115,000 in 1909 the company has grown rapidly, with 1924 sale exceeding $2,750,000. Present officers are T. F. Walsh, president; W. E. Weldon, vice president; C. 0. Baugham, secretary and assistant treasurer, and R. A. May, treasurer.

In contiguous districts, in what is known as the Greater Akron Industrial zone, are numerous rubber and tire companies that have helped to make Akron the "Rubber Metropolis." One of the older of these is the Rubber Products Company at Barberton, incorporated in 1906 by William A. Johnston as president and treasurer; B. F. Tracy as vice president and G. C. Kohler as secretary. The company's present capital stock consists of $200,000 common and $100,000 preferred. It makes tube machine products, druggists' sundries, and molded specialties, T. G. Richards being vice president and general manager, and R. A. Miller secretary and treasurer.

In 1915 0. M. Mason and D. M. Mason formed the Mason Tire & Rubber Company at Kent. The former became president and the latter treasurer and general manager. In 1924 these two officers retired, W. A. Cluff becoming president and treasurer, with J. H. Diehl and C. H. Williams as vice presidents; and T. G. Graham as factory manager. Mason Company sales in 1924 were over $9,200,000.

In 1919 the Lambert Tire & Rubber Co., formed five years before in Portland, Oregon, by H. M. Lambert, inventor of the special Lambert cushion tire, established its factory between Kenmore and Barberton. The company now is capitalized at $3,000,000. Present officers are H. M. Lambert, president; J. W. Coyle, D. E. Ramsey, John Wagner, G. K. Fargo and E. C. Eckert, vice presidents; John Hausam, secretary and treasurer and Guy M. Collette, general manager.

In 1921 F. A. Seiberling, upon his retirement from Goodyear, established the Seiberling Rubber Co., which acquired the factory of the former Portage Tire & Rubber Co., at Barberton. This company experi­enced phenomenal growth from its start, its sales mounting in three years' time to more than $7,000,000 a year. F. A. Seiberling is president with C. W. Seiberling, W. S. Wolfe and H. L. Post as vice presidents and W. E. Palmer, secretary. The latter for many years was with the Goodyear. C. W. Seiberling now is treasurer.

At Cuyahoga Falls, several rubber companies have sprung up. Principal among them is the Falls Rub­ber Company, organized in 1909 by William Sherbondy and Frank Nolte. M. J. O'Donnell joined the company in 1914 and became president the succeeding year, retiring from the presidency in May, 1925, when he was succeeded as president and treasurer by J.O 0. King. Other present officers include G. D. Kratz and M. J. O'Donnell, vice presidents; O. C. Nelson, secre­tary; W. P. Cline, assistant secretary and assistant treasurer; W. S. Campbell, sales manager, and F. H. Comey, general superintendent. The company's sales were nearly $3,000,000 in 1924. 

The American Hard Rubber Company came into being in 1898 through consolidation of the India Rub­ber Comb Co., the Butler Hard Rubber Co., and the Goodrich Hard Rubber Co., establishing its factory in East Akron. Fritz Achelis was president from 1898 until his death in December, 1924, when he was succeeded by Frederic G. Achelis. Other present officers are Wm. W. Weitling, vice president and Edwin E. Belcher, secretary and treasurer. 

The Philadelphia Rubber Works Company was formed in 1910 as a merger of the Philadelphia Rubber Works which had been organized in 1880, and the Alkali Rubber Co., which was started in 1904. J. K. Mitchell has been president since 1910 with other present officers including J. S. Lowman, first vice president and E. K. Monnington, secretary and treasurer. The company manufactures reclaimed rubber. 

Data available on other rubber companies in the Akron district follow :

Good Rubber Co., formed 1923; manufacturers of toy balloons and rubber novelties. Present officers,  W. D. Good, president and general manager; S. M. Good, vice president ; J. B. Good, secretary, and E. K. Good, treasurer. Capitalized at $10,000.

Independent Rubber Co., incorporated 1911 by S. G. Rogers, A. J. Rowley, G. A. Sirdefield and R. H. Nesbitt to manufacture rubber goods. Present officers: C. C. McCue, president; W. H. K. Rose, vice president; H. G. Goodwin, secretary and treasurer.

Summit Rubber Co., incorporated in 1922 for $125,­000, although established in 1917 by M. Nobil and Charles Schwartz. Present officers: M. Nobil, president; Charles Schwartz, treasurer and general manag­er ; G. B. Nobil, secretary.

The Western Reserve Rubber Co., manufacturers of rubber toy balloons was incorporated in 1915 with Arthur P. Witten as president. Authorized capital, $50,000. George E. Hall is secretary and treasurer, and Mr. Witten president.

The Sun Rubber Co., of Barberton, manufacturers of rubber sundries, represents the merger of the Marlanite Co., of Barberton and the Sumatra Rubber Co., of Salem. Officers are J. T. McLane, president; T. W. Smith, vice president and sales manager; M. S. Lower, vice president, and general manager and secretary, and E. B. Billick, treasurer. The company is capitalized at $200,000. 

The Marathon Rubber Co., of Akron, represents a recent reorganization of the original Marathon Company. C. C. Osmun is president; C. E. Falor, vice president and factory manager. 

The Eclat Rubber Co., of Cuyahoga Falls was started in 1919 by W. H. Stilwell, now president, to manufacture mechanical rubber goods. The company is capitalized at $250,000. Other present officers are C. C. Crumrine, vice president; E. F. Ast, treasurer and C. E. Reiss, secretary. 

The Trump Bros. Rubber Co., tire and mechanical goods manufacturers, started in 1921 with $200,000 capital stock. Officers are E. H. Trump, president, and R. M. Trump, secretary and treasurer. 

Anderson Rubber Co., (not incorporated) was established by S. W. Anderson in 1910, as manufacturer and distributor of balloon toys and rubber novelties. 

The Lincoln Rubber Co., organized in 1914 at Bar­berton, for the manufacture of rubber sundries, sur­geons' supplies, etc., capitalized at $175,000 of which $62,660 has been issued. The management is under Allyn R. McCoy, secretary and treasurer, and E. E. McNeely, auditor. Directors are Allyn R. McCoy, Frank McCoy, E. E. McNeely, Nora McCoy and John Hadfield.

The Pyramid Rubber Specialty Company, founded in 1920 and capitalized at $25,000 for the manufacture of rubber sundries and surgical supplies. L. N. Oberlin and R. C. Shaw were the first executives. Present officers include R. M. Pillmore, president; W. W. McIntosh, vice president ; W. B. McIntosh, secretary, and A. C. Bame, treasurer and manager.

The Clinton Rubber Company, organized in February, 1925, to make rubber products. Officers are Allyn R. McCoy, president; John A. Smith, vice president; E. E. McNeely, secretary ; L. N. Oberlin, treasurer, and T. S. Briggle, factory superintendent.

The Miles Tire & Rubber Co., formed in 1923 to act as a selling organization handling products of the Amazon and Monarch Rubber Companies. Officers are R. P. Johnson, president and treasurer ; P. G. Himmelright, vice president and J. S. Baruch, secretary.

The Akron Rubber Reclaiming Co., formed in 1925 with B. 0. Etling as president ; C. E. Bishop and Wm. Welch as vice presidents and W. H. Hart as secretary.

The Akron Rapatire Company, organized in 1924 with Fred F. Feldhaus as president and R. H. Noah as secretary and treasurer, manufacturers of tire wrapping machines.

Mention should be made of companies, not essentially rubber manufacturers, who supply the industry either with materials, technical service or machinery. Among these are the following:

The Rubber Service Laboratories Co., incorporated in 1921 for $100,500 as manufacturers of products connected with the rubber industry, accelerator specialists, laboratory experts, etc. R. C. Hartong was the first president. The company maintains laboratories in Akron while its manufacturing site is at Nitro, W. Va. Present officers include C. N. Hand, president and factory manager; E. J. Smail, vice president and sales manager; C. 0. North, secretary and treasurer, and H. D. Hughes, assistant secretary and assistant treasurer.

The Leo Meyer Co., organized by Leo Meyer in 1915. Mr. Meyer served as president until 1920. Al­bert Buxbaum now is president with J. W. Bent, secretary. The company deals in scrap rubber, tires and tubes and makes patches and reliners for repairing of tires.

H. Muehlstein & Co., Inc., importers and dealers in crude and scrap rubber, was founded in 1911. Present officers are H. Muehlstein, president; C. Muehlstein, vice president and J. Muehlstein, secretary and treasurer.

The centering of the rubber industry in Akron has given rise to many Manufacturers of rubber and tire building machinery. Among these companies are the following:

The Akron Rubber Mold & Machine Co., established in 1909 by Stanley Harris who now is presi­dent and general manager and G. F. Hobach, now secretary and treasurer. W. E. Wilson is vice presi­dent and assistant general manager.

The Adamson Machine Co., founded in 1892 by A. Adamson, now the president, and John Denmead. The business was incorporated in 1907 for $500,000. W. E. Slabaugh is vice president and R. B. Koontz is sec­retary and treasurer.

The Williams Foundry & Machine Co., founded in 1888 by J. K. Williams who served as president until 1918, resuming the presidency in 1924. F. E. Holcomb was president from 1918 to 1924. Present officers include J. K. Williams, president; H. L. Williams, vice president and treasurer; F. C. Vandergrift, secretary and treasurer.

The Vaughn Machinery Co., of Cuyahoga Falls, traces its origin back to a partnership in 1856, James A. Vaughn entering the business in 1861. Present officers are C. W. Vaughn, president; L. A. Vaughn, vice president, treasurer and general manager, and A. T. Yungman, secretary.

The Biggs Boiler Works Co., founded in 188? by Lester Briggs and reorganized under the present name in 1900. Present officers, B. R. Barder, president; F. G. Sherbondy, secretary and treasurer; and G. J. Seeger, vice president.

The India Machine & Rubber Mold Co., organized in 1920 by W. C. Wenk and L. T. Cline. Present offi­cers, R. D. McDowell, president; D. N. Rosen, vice president; R. E. Baer, secretary and George T. Wil­liams, treasurer and general manager.

The Wellman-Seaver-Morgan Co., founded in 1903 with S. T. Wellman as first president. Present officers, Edwin S. Church, president; George W. Burrell, vice president and general manager; N. R. Fairlamb, sec­retary and treasurer; W. G. Hildebran, assistant sec­retary.

East Akron Machine Co., founded in 1918 by Frank F. Seidel, John T. Seidel and Albert R. Miller. Pres­ent officers are the same.

Electric Motor and Repair Co., founded in 1916 by S. W. Sweet, W. A. Heffelman and R. S. Whitright. Present officers, S. W. Sweet, president; Lee Whitright, vice president; W. A. Heffelman, treasurer and general manager, and H. S. Kish, secretary.

The Akron Standard Mold Co., organized in 1918 with $200,000 capitalization, by A. J. Fleiter. Officers now are Allen F. Ayers, president; A. J. Fleiter, vice president and general manager and C. W. McLaugh­lin, secretary and treasurer.

The Franz Foundry and Machine Company, organized in 1919 by C. Franz, Sr., one of the founders of the Williams Foundry & Machine Co., in 1901. Mr. Franz succumbed in April, 1925. His son, C. W. Franz, Jr., now is in charge of the business.

The Akron Gear and Engineering Co., organized in 1912. Capitalized at $150,000. Present officers are J. H. Vance, president ; N. G. Nelson, secretary and treasurer, and T. A. Seacrist, general manager.

The Akron Industrial Salvage Company, founded in 1918 by George W. Sherman, as a war conservation movement, handles the disposal of all types of by­products and waste materials of Akron's rubber factories. The company has $62,000 in common stock and $11,000 preferred stock. Officers are George W. Sherman, president, treasurer and general manager ; A. Peterson, vice president, and L. E. Pierson, secretary and assistant manager.

Other suppliers of the rubber industry, located in or near Akron, include the Kuhlke Machine Company, the Akron Equipment Company, the McNeil Boiler Company, the Akron Machine Mold, Tool & Die Company, the Ohio Gear and Engineering Company, the National Sulphur Company, etc.

Akron has achieved world renown not alone as the rubber and tire manufacturing center of the world, but also through her pioneering in aeronautics for Akron had the first aeronautical factory in the United States, and built the first American-made free balloons and dirigibles. As far back as 1911 when lighter-than­air craft navigation was considered impracticable, Akron exploited this field courageously and pioneered the development of the free balloon. Two years later Akron made balloons achieved success, winning the national balloon races at Kansas City. Ralph Upson and R. A. D. Preston whose names have been linked with America's aeronautical development almost from its inception, then brought fame to America and to Akron, winning for America for the first time the James Gordon Bennett international balloon race trophy at Paris. In 1916 and 1919 Akron made balloons again won the national races while in 1924 and 1925 W. T. Van Orman, pilot, and C. K. Wollam, aide, flying the free balloon the "Goodyear III" won the national balloon races and represented America in the international races abroad.

When America entered the World War Akron played a prominent part in aeronautics, building for the government many free balloons, observation kite balloons and dirigibles. Goodyear aided in the estab­lishment of an aviation training field near the city. Goodrich, Miller, Firestone, Goodyear and other Ak­ron companies turned over much of their plant equipment for the manufacture of balloon cloth and dirigibles. The government centered its work of training air pilots in Akron, building huge barracks at Wingfoot Lake and conducting over 750 test dirigible flights and over 1200 training flights in balloons. Akron-made dirigibles had achieved success before the war, and many were made for the Army and Navy, Ralph Upson and Herman Kraft figuring prominently in the design of new dirigibles. Later the Goodyear factories turned out the 20 immense gas ballonets for the rigid dirigible, the Shenandoah.

In 1924 Goodyear officials secured the rights for America, to the Zeppelin dirigible patents, and formed the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation, bringing to Ak­ron officials of the Zeppelin factories from Friederichshafen, Germany, and a corps of expert Zeppelin builders. These men now are designing plans for huge Zeppelins a thousand feet long, which will be built in Akron.

Akron has always been considered, especially with respect to labor in the rubber industry, an "open shop" city. It has long had a nation-wide reputation of being a "good wage" town where working conditions also were much more favorable than in cities boasting of other industries.

Only one important effort was ever made to unionize workers in the rubber manufacturing plants and the effort was a short-lived failure.

It was in February, 1913, that labor leaders, brand­ed widely at the time as I. W. W. agitators, established headquarters on South High st., and began to distribute union propaganda. Efforts were centralized at the larger factories including Goodrich, Firestone and Goodyear.

With respect to efforts at "picketing" factory entrances and extending their efforts to prevent strike­breakers from being hired, the former factory came in for the greatest attention due to the factory being located nearer the central part of the city and its proximity to Main st.

Much feeling was aroused by the visiting labor workers. Police found it necessary to recruit large forces of citizen police officers to supplement the regular forces. Bankers, merchants, ministers and men prominent in various phases of civic endeavor took their turns as guard sentinels at places in the city where it was thought dangerous demonstrations might occur.

About 10,000 men were estimated to have left their work at one time during the walkout. Many of these were not in sympathy with the strike move but remained at home through fear of bodily harm. Many parades were held by the strike leaders and sporadic clashes between police and strikers resulted, without, however, serious results.

The strike was not backed by public sympathy and the effort died a sudden and natural death after about six weeks.

One of the most interesting spans in Akron's history, was the period from 1910 to 1920 which marked the most rapid expansion of the rubber industry and earned for Akron the name of "The fastest growing city in the United States." Between those years the city's population increased more than three-fold, reaching 208,000 under the 1920 census. The boom period reached its peak of acceleration between 1918 and 1920. Thousands of men seeking employment in rubber factories here where wages were high, literally poured into the city. Rubber companies could not make tires fast enough. They could not build additions fast enough.. They could not hire men fast enough. Seldom has any city in the world's history experienced such a condition of expansion as that which held Akron in its throes in 1919 and 1920. Civic development could not keep pace with population growth. A housing shortage was precipitated upon the city. Attics and basements were converted into sleeping quarters for the city's army of homeless rub­ber workers. Manufacturers hastily established subdivisions and feverishly built homes for their workers.

The rubber factories worked incessantly-24 hours every day. Men were given bonuses to speed their work. The city's streets were clogged with men. There was as much activity all hours of the night as during the day, with thousands of men going to and from work. Hundreds of deaf mutes flocked to the city for work in the rubber shops, forming the largest colony of "Silents" in America.

Then came the precipitate slump late in 1920; the sudden falling off of tire sales; vast overproduction; the piling up of immense inventories of finished goods that could not be moved and that tied up millions of dollars of working capital; the tightening of credit. The depression caught many manufacturers with contractual obligations for future deliveries of rubber and cotton at peak prices even though the prices of these raw materials had dropped to one-third of the peak levels.

Employment in rubber shops here which climbed to more than 75,000 men and women in June of 1920, dropped to less than 20,000 by December of the same year. There was a tremendous exodus of rubber workers. The low ebb of the slump came late in 1920 and early in 1921 but even after general business had begun to recover, Akron could not quickly regain its breath. The city's recovery thus was slow. The atmosphere was filled with foreboding and uncertainty. Courageously, however, Akron manufacturers began to shape their "come back." They worked courageously and gradually reestablished their trade channels, and liquidated inventories as rapidly as possible. From late in 1921 up to the present time Akron's growth has been steady and healthy, with a more stable class of labor employed, with manufacturers less reckless.

Akron's centennial year finds the city back to the old peak levels of production and prosperity—but without the aspect of a boom period. It finds the rubber industry in Akron economically sound with all companies prospering and growing. Sales of Akron's rubber companies are expected to exceed half a bil­lion dollars in 1925. They were $387,825,922 in 1924 upon which sales revenues were earned net profits of $33,832,003, which indicates the industry's present stability.

The balloon tire, pioneered in 1923 and 1924 by Akron companies, ranks as the city's latest contribu­tion to the transportation of the world,—a contribu­tion which has virtually revolutionized motor vehicle transportation.

And thus we find the Akron of today a city whose rubber products are indispensable to mankind, and necessary to the progress of civilization. In every phase of life and business and industry we find Akron made rubber products performing essential service. From rubber bands to huge conveyor belts and transmission belts found in factories, cereal mills and mines; from the tiniest of rubber washers, to giant pneumatic and solid tires; from rubber sheeting for the surgical operating room to the immense silken rubberized hulls of the giant Shenandoah ; from the rubber insulation of telegraph and cable wires, and electric light wires, to the rubber panels which harness the electrical energy that makes possible the radio; from the small lengths of air brake and steam hose couplings connecting the coaches of every railroad train in the world, to the millions of feet of hose used by fire departments everywhere, and from sundry rubber commodities to toy balloons and rubber balls, Ak­ron products are serving mankind. The world walks on rubber. It motors on rubber. 

Today we find more than 30,000 different articles made out of rubber. Yet experts agree that the potentialities of rubber are as yet virtually unknown. Which indicates Akron's potentialities. For Akron a population of half a million assuredly is in the offing. That the rubber industry in Akron will double its present size in the next ten years, is a conservative prediction certain of realization.

 
 


 
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