We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who is Charles Goodyear?

By Katharine Swan
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Charles Goodyear, the namesake of the well-known Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, is the inventor of vulcanized rubber. The vulcanization process has made possible many rubber products such as tires, which is why Goodyear tires were named after him.

Charles Goodyear was an American inventor who was born in 1800 in Connecticut. He was also the son of an inventor, as his father, Amasa Goodyear, came up with the idea for the steel pitchfork.

It was in the early 1830s that Charles Goodyear became interested in the manufacture of rubber. At that time, gum elastic was being used and experimented with for a number of products, but manufacturers had yet to find a way to make the rubber stable over time. Gum elastic was susceptible to rotting, and therefore did not age well. Goodyear, who was at this time already deep in debt, decided to try to find a way to make rubber stable so that it would last a long time, even under adverse conditions.

In his experiments, Charles Goodyear tried mixing Indian rubber with several different compounds, but none of his mixtures produced the effect he wanted until 1839. Tradition holds that Goodyear accidentally spilled a mixture of India rubber and sulfur onto a hot stove, but in the book he later wrote, he denied that the discovery was an accident. Therefore some speculate that Goodyear may have tried heating the mixture as part of his experiments.

The next five years Goodyear spent perfecting the vulcanization process. Making vulcanized rubber in several different plants with the help of his brothers, he discovered the exact recipe for making a completely stable, weatherproof form of rubber. It therefore was not until 1844 that he finally took out an American patent for his invention. Unfortunately, when he tried to file for a similar patent in England, he discovered that a man named Thomas Hancock had already filed for a patent on the same invention. Hancock claimed to have invented vulcanized rubber independently from Goodyear, but some suspect he may have copied Goodyear’s recipe after noticing a sulfur residue on a rubber sample that Goodyear distributed.

Goodyear died in debt in 1860, many years before rubber would be used to make automobile tires. In fact, when the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company was created in 1898, it had no connection to Charles Goodyear himself, aside from its founder’s wish to honor the inventor that had discovered vulcanized rubber at such a great price to himself.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon131377 — On Dec 02, 2010

Charles Goodyear lived poor and died famous. Thanks for the article.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.