Goodyear, Charles

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b. 29 December 1800 New Haven, Connecticut, USA
d. 1 July 1860 New York, USA
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American inventor of the vulcanization of rubber.
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Goodyear entered his father's country hardware business before setting up his own concern in Philadelphia. While visiting New York, he noticed in the window of the Roxburgh India Rubber Company a rubber life-preserver. Goodyear offered to improve its inflating valve, but the manager, impressed with Goodyear's inventiveness, persuaded him to tackle a more urgent problem, that of seeking a means of preventing rubber from becoming tacky and from melting or decomposing when heated. Goodyear tried treatments with one substance after another, without success. In 1838 he started using Nathaniel M.Hayward's process of spreading sulphur on rubber. He accidentally dropped a mass of rubber and sulphur on to a hot stove and noted that the mixture did not melt: Goodyear had discovered the vulcanization of rubber. More experiments were needed to establish the correct proportions for a uniform mix, and eventually he was granted his celebrated patent no. 3633 of 15 June 1844. Goodyear's researches had been conducted against a background of crippling financial difficulties and he was forced to dispose of licences to vulcanize rubber at less than their real value, in order to pay off his most pressing debts.
Goodyear travelled to Europe in 1851 to extend his patents. To promote his process, he designed a spectacular exhibit for London, consisting of furniture, floor covering, jewellery and other items made of rubber. A similar exhibit in Paris in 1855 won him the Grande Médaille d'honneur and the Croix de la Légion d'honneur from Napoleon III. Patents were granted to him in all countries except England. The improved properties of vulcanized rubber and its stability over a much wider range of temperatures greatly increased its applications; output rose from a meagre 31.5 tonnes a year in 1827 to over 28,000 tonnes by 1900. Even so, Goodyear profited little from his invention, and he bequeathed to his family debts amounting to over $200,000.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Grande Médaille d'honneur 1855. Croix de la Légion d'honneur 1855.
Bibliography
15 June 1844, US patent no. 3633 (vulcanization of rubber).
1853, Gum Elastic and Its Varieties (includes some biographical material).
Further Reading
B.K.Pierce, 1866, Trials of an Inventor: Life and Discoveries of Charles Goodyear.
H.Allen, 1989, Charles Goodyear: An Intimate Biographical Sketch, Akron, Ohio: Goodyear Tire \& Rubber Company.
LRD

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Goodyear, Charles — born Dec. 29, 1800, New Haven, Conn., U.S. died July 1, 1860, New York, N.Y. U.S. inventor of the vulcanization process that permitted the commercial use of rubber. Interested in treating rubber so that it would lose its adhesive quality and not… …   Universalium

  • Goodyear, Charles — ► (1800 60) Técnico estadounidense. En 1839 descubrió el procedimiento de vulcanización del caucho. * * * (29 dic. 1800, New Haven, Conn., EE.UU.–1 jul. 1860, Nueva York, N.Y.). Inventor estadounidense del proceso de vulcanización, que permitió… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Goodyear,Charles — Good·year (go͝odʹyîr ), Charles. 1800 1860. American inventor and manufacturer who developed vulcanized rubber (1839). * * * …   Universalium

  • GOODYEAR, CHARLES —    the inventor of vulcanised rubber, born at New Haven, Connecticut; his career was a troubled one; he failed as an iron founder, and when, after 10 years labour, amidst every disadvantage of poverty and privation, he in 1844 produced his new… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Goodyear — Goodyear, Charles …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Charles Goodyear — Naissance 29 décembre 1800 New Haven, États Unis Décès 11 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Charles Goodyear — Charles Nelson Goodyear (* 29. Dezember 1800 in New Haven, Connecticut; † 1. Juli 1860 in New York) war ein US amerikanischer Chemiker, Erfinder und Amateurforscher. Goodyear führte die Vulkanisation des K …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Charles Goodyear — Charles Goodyear. Charles Goodyear (29 de diciembre de 1800 1 de julio de 1860 en New Haven, Connecticut) descubrió la vulcanización del caucho por accidente, sin formación académica. Este proceso daría lugar a un nuevo material, el látex, con el …   Wikipedia Español

  • Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company — Goodyear Tire Rubber Company Unternehmensform Aktiengesellschaft Gründung 29. August 1898 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Charles Goodyear (politician) — Charles Goodyear Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York s 21st 14th district In office 1845 1847, 1865 1867 …   Wikipedia

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