Monday April 5, 2021’s Smile of the Day: Inflatable Rubber Tires
On This Day:
In 1923, the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company started producing inflatable tires. However, it is a puffed up claim to assert that they invented the pneumatic tire.
A tire (American English) or tyre (British English) is a ring-shaped component that surrounds a wheel’s rim to transfer a vehicle’s load from the axle through the wheel to the ground and to provide traction on the surface over which the wheel travels. Most tires, such as those for automobiles and bicycles, are pneumatically inflated structures, which also provide a flexible cushion that absorbs shock as the tire rolls over rough features on the surface. Tires provide a footprint, called a contact patch, that is designed to match the weight of the vehicle with the bearing strength of the surface that it rolls over by providing a bearing pressure that will not deform the surface excessively.
The materials of modern pneumatic tires are synthetic rubber, natural rubber, fabric and wire, along with carbon black and other chemical compounds. They consist of a tread and a body. The tread provides traction while the body provides containment for a quantity of compressed air. Before rubber was developed, the first versions of tires were simply bands of metal fitted around wooden wheels to prevent wear and tear. Early rubber tires were solid (not pneumatic). Pneumatic tires are used on many types of vehicles, including cars, bicycles, motorcycles, buses, trucks, heavy equipment, and aircraft. Metal tires are still used on locomotives and railcars, and solid rubber (or other polymer) tires are still used in various non-automotive applications, such as some casters, carts, lawnmowers, and wheelbarrows.
The earliest tires were bands of leather, then iron (later steel) placed on wooden wheels used on carts and wagons. A skilled worker, known as a wheelwright, would cause the tire to expand by heating it in a forge fire, place it over the wheel and quench it, causing the metal to contract back to its original size so that it would fit tightly on the wheel.
The first patent for what appears to be a standard pneumatic tire appeared in 1847 lodged by Scottish inventor Robert William Thomson. However, this never went into production. The first practical pneumatic tire was made in 1888 on May Street, Belfast, by Scots-born John Boyd Dunlop, owner of one of Ireland’s most prosperous veterinary practices. It was an effort to prevent the headaches of his 10-year-old son Johnnie, while riding his tricycle on rough pavements. His doctor, John, later Sir John Fagan, had prescribed cycling as an exercise for the boy, and was a regular visitor. Fagan participated in designing the first pneumatic tires. Cyclist Willie Hume demonstrated the supremacy of Dunlop’s tires in 1889, winning the tire’s first-ever races in Ireland and then England. In Dunlop’s tire patent specification dated 31 October 1888, his interest is only in its use in cycles and light vehicles. In September 1890, he was made aware of an earlier development but the company kept the information to itself.
In 1892, Dunlop’s patent was declared invalid because of prior art by forgotten fellow Scot Robert William Thomson of London (patents London 1845, France 1846, USA 1847), although Dunlop is credited with “realizing rubber could withstand the wear and tear of being a tire while retaining its resilience”. John Boyd Dunlop and Harvey du Cros together worked through the ensuing considerable difficulties. They employed inventor Charles Kingston Welch and also acquired other rights and patents which allowed them some limited protection of their Pneumatic Tyre business’s position. Pneumatic Tyre would become Dunlop Rubber and Dunlop Tyres. The development of this technology hinged on myriad engineering advances, including the vulcanization of natural rubber using sulfur, as well as by the development of the “clincher” rim for holding the tire in place laterally on the wheel rim.
Synthetic rubbers were invented in the laboratories of Bayer in the 1920s. In 1946, Michelin developed the radial tire method of construction. Michelin had bought the bankrupt Citroën automobile company in 1934, so it was able to fit this new technology immediately. Because of its superiority in handling and fuel economy, use of this technology quickly spread throughout Europe and Asia. In the US, the outdated bias-ply tire construction persisted, until the Ford Motor Company adopted radial tires in the early 1970s, following a 1968 article in an influential American magazine, Consumer Reports, highlighting the superiority of radial construction. The US tire industry lost its market share to Japanese and European manufacturers, which bought out US companies (per Wikipedia).
First, a Story:
Someone has been stealing wheels off police cars. The police are working tirelessly to catch him
Second, a Song:
Chris Austin Hadfield OC OOnt MSC CD (born August 29, 1959) is a retired Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut, engineer, science communicator, singer, and former fighter pilot. The first Canadian to walk in space, Hadfield has flown two Space Shuttle missions and served as commander of the International Space Station (ISS). Prior to his career as an astronaut, Hadfield served in the Canadian Forces for 25 years as an Air Command fighter pilot.
Hadfield was inspired as a child when he watched the Apollo 11 Moon landing on TV. He attended high school in Oakville and Milton in southern Ontario and earned his glider pilot licence as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. After joining the Canadian Armed Forces, he earned an engineering degree at Royal Military College (RMC). He learned to fly various types of aircraft in the military and eventually became a test pilot, flying several experimental planes. As part of an exchange program with the United States Navy and United States Air Force, he obtained a master’s degree in aviation systems at the University of Tennessee Space Institute.
In 1992, Hadfield was accepted into the Canadian astronaut program by the Canadian Space Agency. He first flew in space in November 1995 as a mission specialist aboard STS-74, visiting the Russian space station Mir. He flew again in April 2001 on STS-100, when he visited the ISS and walked in space to help install the Canadarm2. In December 2012, he flew for a third time aboard Soyuz TMA-07M to join Expedition 34 on the ISS. When this expedition ended in March 2013, he became the commander of the ISS as part of Expedition 35, responsible for a crew of five astronauts and helping to run dozens of scientific experiments dealing with the impact of low gravity on human biology. During this mission, he chronicled life on board the space station by taking pictures of the Earth and posting them on various social media platforms. He was a guest on television news and talk shows and gained popularity by playing the ISS’s guitar in space. Hadfield returned to Earth in May 2013 when the mission ended. He announced his retirement shortly after returning, capping a 35-year career as a military pilot and astronaut.
Hadfield is the recipient of numerous awards and special honours. These include appointment to the Order of Ontario in 1996, as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2014, receipt of the Vanier Award in 2001, NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 2002, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. He is also the only Canadian to have received both a military and civilian Meritorious Service Cross, the military medal in 2001 and the civilian one in 2013. In 1988, Hadfield was granted the Liethen-Tittle Award (top pilot graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School) and was named US Navy Test Pilot of the Year in 1991. He was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 2005 and commemorated on Royal Canadian Mint silver and gold coins for his spacewalk to install Canadarm2 on the International Space Station in 2001. Further, the Royal Military College granted Hadfield an honorary Doctorate of Engineering in 1996 and he was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Trent University three years later. In 2013, Hadfield was presented with an Honorary Diploma from Nova Scotia Community College. Upon his taking command of the International Space Station, Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, sent Hadfield a personal message of congratulations, stating “I am pleased to transmit my personal best wishes, and those of all Canadians, to Colonel Christopher Hadfield as he takes command of the International Space Station…”
His affiliations include membership in the Royal Military College Club, Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute, and serving as honorary patron of Lambton College, former trustee of Lakefield College School, board member of the International Space School Foundation, and executive with the Association of Space Explorers.
In Sarnia, the city airport was renamed to Sarnia Chris Hadfield Airport in 1997 and there are two public schools named after him – one in Milton, Ontario and the other in Bradford, Ontario. A NASA Marshall Space Flight Center-run rocket factory at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where he briefly worked, and an asteroid 14143 Hadfield are also named after him.
In 2005, 820 Milton Blue Thunder Squadron was renamed 820 Chris Hadfield Squadron in honour of Hadfield, who was a cadet there from 1971 to 1978. The Town of Milton also named a municipal park and street after Hadfield.
In 2014, his name was added to the Wall of Honour at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario.
In 2020, the newly discovered Andrena Hadfieldi, a species of bee, was named in his honour. (per Wikipedia).
Here is Commander Chris Hadfield performing his original song “Canadian Tire”. I hope you enjoy this!
Thought for the Day:
“Customer expectations? Nonsense. No customer ever asked for the electric light, the pneumatic tire, the VCR, or the CD. All customer expectations are only what you and your competitor have led him to expect. He knows nothing else.” – W. Edwards Deming
In response to the Klondike Gold Rush Smile, Dr. Frank Fowlie of Richmond, BC, Canada writes:
“The best legacy of the gold rush: Canada’s first poet laureate, Robert Service, from Kilwinning Scotland:
“There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee…“
Robert Service was also a fine Freemason!!
Have a great day!
Dave & Colleen
© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky