Who Invented The Tire? (Not What You Think…)

Tires are now a part of our everyday lives. In most cases, much of our lives revolve around cars, which require tires to function. However, these tires haven’t been around forever.

In fact, the modern tire is very modern. To learn about the history of the tire, keep reading below!

Who Invented the Tire?

The tire wasn’t invented by one person. John Boyd Dunlop invented the first successful pneumatic tire in 1888. However, this tire wasn’t practical and was extremely expensive. Therefore, it took many more iterations before the pneumatic tire was widely used on cars. However, it was used on bicycles successfully right away.

For most about the history of the tire, read below. Tires went through many iterations before they became what they are today.

When Was the First Tire Made?

Of course, wooden tires go back thousands of years. No one knows exactly when they were invented. However, they aren’t terribly effective since they’re hard and unable to adapt to the roadway.

Over the last few thousand years, tires have been made out of all sorts of different things. However, none of these were quite as effective as the inflatable tire.

The first pneumatic tire was invented in 1845. However, the tire was very expensive to produce at that point, so it didn’t get much traction.

However, another inventor made the first practical inflatable tire in 1888. With that said, this patent was for bicycle tires – not car tires. Seven years later, the same inventor came out with removable, inflatable tires.

Of course, at first, these tires were not very durable. Therefore, they were used occasionally, but not nearly as much as they could have been used otherwise. Other sorts of tires continued to be used due to the lack of durability.

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In 1911, the air-filled inner tube was created. Compared to previous tires, this one could be used on automobiles with success. Unlike previous iterations, it was durable and cost-effective, making it the first modern tire that was actually somewhat popular.

Mounted rims were invented in 1904, which allowed drivers to fix their own tires. In 1908, grooved tires were made to improve road traction. Obviously, this feature made it much safer to drive on these tires.

While the modern tire was around at this point, the rubber of the tire continued to be improved for some time. For instance, the B.F. Goodrich Company added carbon to the rubber in tires to improve their lifespan in 1910.

Many years later, Goodrich also made the first synthetic rubber tires out of Chemigum, which was a patented substance.

How Was the Tire Invented?

How Was the Tire Invented?

It took many decades for the tire to be invented. As you might imagine, it took many small iterations and improvements over the years to reach the modern tire. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that the tire was commercially available and practical.

However, the first patent for a pneumatic tire was filed years before that. Before that, it simply wasn’t practical for cars to have pneumatic tires.

In 1888, John Boyd Dunlop invented the first air-filled tire. Benz, another inventor, attempted to use these tires on the wheels of his car to absorb shock and make the ride smoother.

With that said, the tire didn’t become widespread at this point.

Instead, the tire was costly and not practical for commercial use. The first commercially available pneumatic tires were directly connected to the rims; they were not removable. Therefore, it took hours for them to be removed and replaced.

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Goodyear tire invented the tubeless auto tire in 1903. However, the tires were completely rubber at this point.

While these tires were resistant to damage, they had an extremely rough ride. Therefore, they weren’t terribly popular.

Treadless tires weren’t invented until much later. Radial tires weren’t used in America until 1970 when Ford Motor Company made an American vehicle that came equipped with these tires.

However, these tires didn’t become extremely popular until the oil crisis in 1973.

At this point, the cost of gas sky-rocketed. When you adjust for today’s inflation, one tank of gas could easily cost over $100. Therefore, many people switched to radial tires due to their gas-saving features.

When Was the First Solid Rubber Tire Made?

The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company made tubeless auto tires in 1903.

For the most part, these tires were made out of vulcanized rubber. To make these tires, rubber was heated to transform the raw form into a rigid material that was necessary for tires.

Generally, this type of rubber was used to make solid rubber tires. Because these tires were completely solid, they could not be punctured. In fact, they were extremely durable. A nail or another debris couldn’t puncture them at all.

With that said, they couldn’t adapt to the changing conditions of the road. Therefore, their ride was much rougher than it might be otherwise. For this reason, many people disliked these tires, so they didn’t become very popular.

In fact, they dropped out of favor very quickly. However, the invention itself was valuable for the furtherment of tires.

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How Was the First Tire Made?

How Was the First Tire Made?

Originally, the first tire was made from solid rubber. It didn’t have any air in it at all and was largely used for low-speed vehicles.

In 1888, Benz invented the first gasoline car. He decided to use air-filled rubber for his tire, which is why they have been used for cars since then.

These early tires were considered the first tires, though the wheel has been used for some time. Originally, it is likely that these wheels were made of wood, though we don’t know this for sure, of course.

To know more about tires, you can also see our posts on why are tires expensive, why are tires made of rubber, and why are tires black.


Tires had gone through many iterations before they were finally practical and useable on a motorized car. First, pneumatic tires were used on bicycles, where they quickly became successful.

Synthetic tires and radial tires weren’t utilized until the 1920s. However, they didn’t become popular until the early 1970s, when rising fuel prices pushed buyers to look for fuel-efficient tires.

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