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A tire (British tyre) is a roughly toroidal piece of, usually, rubber placed on a wheel to cushion it. Tires generally have reinforcing threads in them; based on the orientation of the threads, they are classified as bias-ply[?] or radial[?]. A tire may have an inner tube[?] or not. Air filled tires are known as pnuematic tires, and these are the type in almost universal use today. The air compresses as the wheel goes over a bump and acts as a shock absorber. Attempts have been made to make various types of solid tire but none has so far met with much success.

Tire maufacturing companies include:


For most of history wheels had very little in the way of shock absorption and journeys were very bumpy and uncomfortable. The modern tire came about in stages in the 19th century.

John Dunlop[?] who was a vetinary surgeon who lived in Belfast Ireland is widely believed to be the father of the modern tire, although he was not the first to come up with the idea.

In 1845 the first inflatable tire was produced by Scottish engineer Robert Thompson[?]. His invention consisted of a canvas inner tube surrounded by a Leather outer tire. The tire gave a good ride but there were so many manufacturing and fitting problems that the idea had to be abandoned.

In 1888 John Dunlop re-invented the tire for his ten year olds tricycle. Dunlops tire had a modified leather hosepipe as an inner tube and rubber treads, it wasn't long before rubber inner tubes were invented. Dunlop went on to help form a company which later became the Dunlop Rubber Company to produce his invention. The invention quickly caught on for bicycles and was later adapted for use on cars.

External link

DMOZ open directory (http://dmoz.org/Shopping/Vehicles/Parts_and_Accessories/Wheels_and_Tires/)

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