SmithCollection‘s Today’s Memory
Charles Goodyear’s birthday
Originally shared by Museum of American Speed
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
On this day in 1800, Charles Goodyear was born. Today he is famous for the invention of vulcanized rubber. In its natural form, rubber is sticky, and gets runny when hot, and stiff when cold. Goodyear discovered accidentally that when rubber is mixed with sulfur and heat-treated, it loses its adhesiveness but keeps its elasticity, even at extreme temperatures. He called the process „vulcanization.” The industrial use of rubber is possible only because of vulcanization. Goodyear’s process made millions of dollars, but not for him. Widespread infringements on his patents, together with poor luck in business, left him deep in debt at his death in 1860.