About Firestone

The Firestone Tyre Company was founded on a determination to offer the quality and service it takes to win a race, wherever the race may be.

  • 1900
  • 1910
  • 1920
  • 1930
  • 1940
  • 1950
  • 1960
  • 1970
  • 1980
  • 1990
  • 2000
  • 2010

1900

FIRESTONE TYRE & RUBBER COMPANY FOUNDED

On August 3rd, 1900, the Firestone Tyre & Rubber Company was founded in Akron, Ohio. In the initial days, they introduced the solid rubber sidewire tyres as one of the first Firestone products. On December 27th, Harvey S. Firestone Jr. was lifted into the air to pull the engine switch that put the first Firestone factory in operation

1903

FIRESTONE BEGINS MANUFACTURING TYRES

Firestone began manufacturing its own tyres for the first time in 1903, and by late summer of the next year, they'd developed the first mechanically-fastened, straight-sided pneumatic automobile tyre.

1906

FIRESTONE DELIVERS 2000 SETS OF TYRES TO FORD

Firestone delivered 2,000 sets of tyres to the Ford Motor Company. It was the largest single order for tyres places by the auto industry to date, and would start a business partnership that would last for decades.

1910

FIRESTONE OPENS AKRON, OHIO FACTORY

In 1910, profits for The Firestone Tyre & Rubber Company exceeded $1 million for the first time. By June 1910, Firestone's new factory in Akron, Ohio opened. A few years later, Ohio became the hub of the tyre industry, leading manufacturing of automobile castings and rubber inner tubes. It also had more rubber workers than any other state, with 63,637 people working at various tyre companies. Firestone's line of plants, which extended for more than a mile, was linked together by more than six miles of interplant railroad and a 70-ton locomotive. The company now had its own rail line to move raw materials and finished products.

1911

FIRESTONE RACING WIN

On May 30, 1911, Ray Harroun drove his Firestone-equipped Marmon Wasp to victory at the inaugural Indianapolis 500® mile race.

1922

BALLOON TYRE PRODUCTION BEGINS

Factory production of the industry's first low-pressure balloon tyre began on April 5, 1922. This breakthrough was made possible by incorporating the gum-dipping process invented in early 1920, a method of insulating tyre cords against internal heat. Balloon tyres offered the average motorist extraordinary mileage for the time.

1923

FIRESTONE PLANTATION COMPANY

On October 14, 1923, Harvey S. Firestone announced the completion of an agreement with the Liberian Government by which the Firestone Plantation Company obtained a 99-year lease of one million acres of land suitable for growing rubber.

1923

FIRESTONE TYRE & SERVICE CENTER

Firestone began initiating the one-stop service store program, eventually called the Firestone Tyre & Service Center.

1935

FIRESTONE "PUT THE FARM ON RUBBER" CAMPAIGN

In the 1930s, the Depression hit the automobile industry and along with it, the tyre business. Firestone sales began a five-year decline. To expand its market, Firestone developed the first practical low-pressure pneumatic tractor tyre and began the "Put the Farm on Rubber" campaign. Just a few years later, Firestone's sales enjoyed a remarkable turnaround. Sales, which began to decline in 1930, ended up at $121 million in 1935.

1938

HARVEY S. FIRESTONE DIED

On February 7, 1938, Harvey S. Firestone died in his sleep at his vacation home in Miami Beach.

1942

FIRESTONE STARTS PRODUCING SYNTHETIC RUBBER

As war loomed in Europe and Asia, the possibility that natural rubber shipments from Africa and Asia would be cut off grew rapidly. To fill the need for a natural rubber substitute, Firestone started producing synthetic rubber. The company developed and began manufacturing special tyres for combat vehicles and other military items, and by 1942, Firestone became the first to produce synthetic rubber in a government-owned plant. As the company turned 45, the company had made extraordinary contributions to the war effort, including synthetic rubber and a variety of products that could also be used in post-war times.

1955

FIRESTONE BECOMES WORLD'S LARGEST RUBBER PRODUCER

On May 31, 1955, Firestone became the world's largest rubber producer, producing at a rate of one million pounds of rubber per day. By 1959, the company had a total of 71 plants in 19 countries.

1960

FIRESTONE FEATURED IN DUN'S REVIEW

In September of 1960, Dun's Review, a business magazine, picked Firestone as one of the 10 best managed companies in the nation.

1961

FIRESTONE ACQUIRES DAYTON TYRE

1964

TYRE INNOVATIONS FROM FIRESTONE

Firestone introduced and began producing radial ply passenger tyres for replacement use on lightweight American and European cars, as well as the "Super Sports Wide Oval" tyre. Called the "Shape of the Future," the tyre was readily accepted by auto manufacturers as original equipment on many 1967 high-performance cars. This concept of wide, low-profile tyres for high-performance cars continued throughout the century.

1965

FIRESTONE HITS ANNUAL SALES RECORD

Firestone celebrated its 65th anniversary with a record $1.45 billion in sales across 23 countries, the highest sales record in its history. At that point, the company made and marketed 3,600 types and sizes of tyres as well as 2,000 other products in the fields of rubber, metals, plastics, synthetics, textiles and chemicals. Firestone later also became one of the nation's major seatbelt suppliers.

1970

FIRESTONE SETBACKS

Now ranked 37 in the top 50 American corporations, the diversification of Firestone had accelerated to areas ranging from coated fabrics to footwear. But the 1970s brought some significant setbacks for Firestone. On Oct. 17, 1973, Arab nations began an oil embargo against the United States in an attempt to raise prices and alter U.S. support of Israel. This began a series of consequences which impacted Firestone and other American tyre makers for years to come-people started driving less and not as far, and the demand increased for smaller European and Japanese cars. In 1975, despite years of success, Firestone officially stepped out of motorsports. A few years later, in the biggest product recall in the nation's history at the time, Firestone recalled 400,000 Firestone 500 steel-belted radial tyres at a cost of $148.3 million.

1988

BRIDGESTONE MERGES WITH THE FIRESTONE TYRE & RUBBER COMPANY

In May 1988, Bridgestone acquired The Firestone Tyre & Rubber Company, which transformed Bridgestone into one of the world's largest tyre and rubber companies. The acquisition of Firestone gave Bridgestone a large number of production sites in North America, Central and South America, Europe, and other locations. Bridgestone also began operations in Turkey under a joint management agreement in 1988.

1992

NEW EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN HEADQUARTERS LOCATIONS

The company's successful integration efforts with Firestone led to strong profits in 1992 and the establishment of a new European and American headquarters location for Bridgestone.

1995

BRIDGESTONE RE-ENTERS FIRESTONE INTO THE INDY 500

To enhance brand awareness and build on Firestone's legacy of excellence in motorsports, Bridgestone re-entered the Firestone brand into CART IndyCar® Series competition and Indianapolis 500 Mile Race®. As of 2015, Firestone has shod 66 Indy 500 winners - more victories than all other tyre manufacturers combined.

2000

FIRESTONE CENTENNIAL: A LEGEND, A CENTURY, A CELEBRATION.

Bridgestone commemorated a century of success for the iconic Firestone brand-celebrating the progress from plows to rubber and rims to present-day passenger, commercial, agricultural and race tyres as well as a wide array of diversified products boasting the Firestone name.

2001

FIRESTONE BECOMES THE OFFICIAL TYRE OF THE VERIZON INDYCAR® SERIES

Firestone became the Official Tyre of the Verizon IndyCar® Series and the Indianapolis 500 for the 2002 season and beyond.

2013

25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BRIDGESTONE-FIRESTONE MERGER

Bridgestone celebrates the 25th anniversary of merging with Firestone Tyre & Rubber Company, establishing itself as the world's largest tyre and rubber company.

2016

Firestone ran for 100th Indy Car Race

In honor of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, we design a commemorative racing tyre for use in the race itself. The race is won by Alexander Rossi, driving on-you guessed it-Firestone tyres.

2016

FIRESTONE Launched in India