Tyre History

Whether it’s the price of gas, the people you spend time with, or the level of satisfaction you have with your job, one thing in life is certain, things change. It may not be a surprise your vehicle, the way it works, and how much it costs has changed significantly over the years. But have you ever thought about how much tyres have changed?


Before air was introduced into tyre designs, they were covered in wood, iron, solid rubber, and even leather. Although these weren’t the most shock absorbent materials, they provided durability and grip. It took many years to develop the tyres we use today. Let’s look at tyres and how they have progressed through the years.


The modern tyre was patented in 1847 by Robert Thompson but had little success. At the time, consumers preferred the durability of solid rubber. It wasn’t until years later the popularity of the bicycle would reintroduce the concept of a smoother ride.


John Boyd Dunlop was the first to manufacture the pneumatic tyre in 1888. The pneumatic, or air-filled tyre, was developed for Mr. Dunlop’s son, Jonnie. The cushion provided by the air allowed the 10-year-old to ride his bike without getting headaches from the bumpy roads.


The design was simple but effective for its time. By today’s standards, however, little Jonnie’s bicycle tyres would fall short. Modern air-filled tyres consist of synthetic rubber, steel cord, fabric and other natural rubber compounds. Today’s tyre is constantly being revolutionized by technology. Changing materials used, design, durability, and functionality of the tyre is an ongoing process.


One of the most significant design changes for the tyre was the introduction of tyre tread. These groves within the rubber’s surface can customize the way your tyres perform and the way your vehicle handles. Tread and rubber composition can allow your vehicle to handle better in the snow, grip the road surface in hot temperatures or survive hundreds of miles of hauling heavy loads.


The future may hold even more innovations in tyre design and functionality. Today, tyres are manufactured in hundreds of factories around the world, providing you with the comfort and performance we are used to. No matter what you drive, how you drive or what your tyre wish list is, there is a tyre built for you.

Visit any Lombard Tyres Fitment Centre for all your tyre needs.

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Head Office: 5 Spyker Street, Boltonia, Krugersdorp, 1740

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