John Dunlop's plaque

This Blue Plaque can be seen in Belfast (38-42 May Street). Here veterinary surgeon John Boyd Dunlop invented the first pneumatic tyre.


This great invention came about more or less by chance. In 1888 his small son was prescribed cycling as cure for a heavy cold. Dunlop hit on the idea of making the boy's tricycle more comfortable by fitting it with inflated tubes, made of canvas and bonded together with liquid rubber. He patented this idea, using the word 'pneumatic' for the first time, in the same year. A local firm, W. Edlin and Co, then agreed to manufacture frames to fit the new tyre; and when, in 1889, a well-known local cyclist, Willie Hume, won a race at Cherryvale using it, the novelty started to catch on. The paper manufacturer, Harvey du Cros, who was in the crowd at the time, bought Dunlop's patents in 1896 for £3000.

  • Photos and main text by Ludovico Carbone moc.liamg|1enobracocivodul#| and Nicoletta Ventrella moc.liamg|attelocin.allertnev#| (August 2017).


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