The History of Firestone Tires

You could say Harvey Firestone reinvented the wheel. Because when he started the Firestone Tire Company, he changed the way we drive. Behind everything he did was a commitment to being ahead of the curve — from the invention of non-skid tread to a racing legacy that’s second to none. Today his pioneering spirit can still be found within our company’s strong culture of innovation. Have a look at the timeline below to see just how far we’ve come in our pursuit of excellence.


The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company is founded in Akron, Ohio. Our first factory opens two years later and employs 12 men.


Firestone begins producing its own tires. By 1906, sales pass the million-dollar mark and the brand is on its way to becoming a household name.


We release the first tires to feature non-skid tread designs. All highway tires produced after this product will use tread patterns for traction.


An Indianapolis branch manager suggest backing a driver in the Indy 500® to help tout Firestone's racing accomplishments. Recognizing a great idea, Harvey Firestone agrees. Soon after, the first Indianapolis 500 is won on a set of Firestone tires.


During World War I, trucks prove their value in shipping bulk supplies to the front. Back home, Firestone's "Ship By Truck" movement pioneers the trucking industry and forever changes the shipping industry.


For the first time ever, the Indy 500 is won on a single set of Firestone tires. The same feat isn't repeated until 41 races later...again, on a set of Firestone tires. This was also the year that Firestone perfected "gum-dipping," a method of insulating tire cords against internal heat.


We produce the industry's first-ever low-pressure balloon tire, vastly improving treadwear (and thus, mileage) in the average tire.


The Indy 500 is won on Firestone balloon tires. The value of the track as a test site is proven yet again, as speeds exceed 100 mph for the first time in the race's history.