CHANGING THE WORLD
Simple ideas can change the world. In 1888, while watching his son ride a tricycle, John Boyd Dunlop noticed his discomfort whenever he rode over cobbled ground.
He knew the tricycle's solid rubber tyres were to blame. The solution? He wrapped the wheels in thin rubber sheets, glued them together, inflated them with a football pump for a cushioning effect - and created the first commercially viable pneumatic tyre.
Dunlop patented the idea, giving his fledgling Dunlop tyre company a head start over automotive competitors who had already recognised the tyre's many advantages. Ten years later, Dunlop's invention had almost entirely replaced solid tyres.
In 1889, Dunlop opened its first tyre plant in Dublin and its first factory in Birmingham just two years later. From there, Dunlop's growth from pioneer to successful multinational corporation was swift.
We established operations in Germany, France, Canada, Australia, USA, and production facilities throughout the globe, for example, Japan's first ever tyre plant at Kobe. And with the Dunlop Rubber Company, the company proved itself a pioneer in technology and business.
A PROUD TRADITION
By the 1920s, we had developed tyres for cars capable of speeds over 200 mph - heralding our longstanding relationship with motorsport.
We were linked with many high-speed successes, including Sir Malcolm Campbell's 1935 land speed record in 'Bluebird'. During the 1950s - the golden age of motorsport - Dunlop tyres achieved an unrivalled Sixty six Formula One wins with eight world champions.
Our technicians were the first to apply motorsport tyre standards to the tyres of everyday vehicles. This unique approach offered motorists and their vehicles the quality, durability and endurance of tyres designed for the racetrack.
This proud tradition remains. For images, screensavers and lots more features reflecting our continuing involvement in motorsport, please visit the downloads section.