Tyres Back and Now
Modern vehicles are unimaginable without quiet, durable and highly reliable pneumatic tyres protecting the wheels. But as we go back in time, let’s say some 5,000 years back, things were totally different as wooden wheels were used to move carts packed with people and goods from one place to another. The “wheel” back then was nothing but a simple circular wooden piece with a hole in the centre for the axle, which was also made of wood. But these were prone to breaking since they lack the cushion.
Then came the wooden spokes in the wheel which makes them stronger, lighter and capable to support an even heavier load. The early wooden wheels proved to be more durable with the ironclad around the rim which offered additional protection. You wouldn’t believe the noise created by these wheels was far greater than most of the modern motor vehicles.
But then history has never been so simple and short, let’s explore further and see the evolution of tyres, coming of brands and their impact on the automotive industry we see today.
It was in the 19th century when things for tire industry begin to change with two major influential sources that are modern pneumatic tyres now very common on cars and other vehicles along with their availability from limited companies.
For everything, there’s a story and the same goes for tyres. The best one can be that of John Boyd Dunlop; a Scottish vet surgeon from Belfast. His son had a bicycle to ride for school however, the cobbled streets of Belfast made the journey very discomforting.
His father then experimented with several alternatives and eventually introduced rubber tyres that were inflated to cushion riding on bumpy surface. The result was quieter, comfortable and faster journey.
The success of Dunlop’s boy in cycle races persuaded the renowned champion, Willie Hume, to incorporate pneumatic tyres in racing in the year 1889. After defining the victory, the demand for new tyres with the brand Dunlop and Falken tire was associated with quality and durability.
Then another well-known story also took place in the 19th century but 40 years earlier than Dunlop’s when a Robert Thomson, a keen inventor was inspired by his father who would set up a workshop in London. Besides many different inventions, one was “aerial wheels” that was patented in 1845, way before bicycles were introduced. These were designed for carts and carriages pulled by horses against which one such demonstration took place in the Regent’s Park and attended by several journalists.
He befitted the carriage with new tyres and made them move through the park. Following significant skepticism and doubts, the end result was promising. Everyone was convinced that aerial tyres were quieter, faster and more efficient than any of the other on the carriage. It was however due to the expensive rubber at that time that the tyres weren’t commercialized and Thomson was unable to benefit from his invention.
Indeed, there’s a history and story to everything which evolves into something greater. This is how we put our trust in names like Falken Tire.