[WORLDKINGS] Top 100 founders of the companies over 100-years and still in business – P35 - Frank Seiberling (United States): The great founder of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, America's largest tire manufacturer with 122 years of development (1898)


(WorldKind.org) Franklin Augustus “Frank” Seiberling (October 6, 1859 – August 11, 1955), also known as F.A. Seiberling, was an American innovator and founder. He is most famous for founding the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in 1898 and the Seiberling Rubber Company in 1921.


Son of a German American entrepreneur from Ohio, Seiberling spent two years attending Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio, before joining the J.F. Seiberling Company, his father's farm machinery manufacturing business, working there as secretary and treasurer. His father, John Seiberling, founder of that Akron, Ohio company, invented one of the first reaping machines. While working for the company, Seiberling invented a twine binder that tied grain bundles with a bow knot.



Many businesses failed in the panics of the 1890s, including the street railway company owned by Seiberling's father. In 1898, Seiberling was jobless, nearing forty years old, with a wife and three children. In partnership with his brother C.W. Seiberling, he decided to open a rubber company, picked a name, and was selling stock. The company would be named for Charles Goodyear, the discoverer of vulcanization, who had died penniless almost forty years before.



Seiberling was credited with 19 patents during his tenure at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. One of his most famous being for the Seiberling State Tire Building machine was patented in 1908. Invented in collaboration with Goodyear's chief engineer William State, the machine mechanized tire building, which enabled the industry to move away from the cumbersome and time-consuming process of hand-building tires. The Seiberling State machine revolutionized tire building and led to an explosion in tire production output.



Goodyear granted 50 licenses on the tire building machine and made an estimated $2,000,000 in royalties. By 1913, over half of the tires made in the U.S. were manufactured on the Seiberling State machine.

Seiberling and Goodyear received additional patents for creating the first universal tire rim, introducing the double diamond all-weather tire tread, and inventing a pneumatic truck tire which eventually replaced the industry-standard solid truck tire. By 1916, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was the largest tire producer in the world.



Seiberling became known as the "little Napoleon" of the rubber industry because of his small stature and his unremitting determination to succeed. He played a leading role in developing Akron from a small town into the "rubber capital of the world." In 1985, he was inducted into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame as a member of its inaugural class.

According to en.wikipedia

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