John Boyd Dunlop (1840 – 1921), a Scottish inventor credited with the development of the pneumatic tire. The impetus for Dunlop’s idea came from watching his son navigate his tricycle with solid tires over rough cobbled ground. In his design, Dunlop wrapped the wheels in thin rubber sheets, glued them together, and inflated them with a hand pump for a cushioning effect—and the first commercially viable pneumatic tire was created. Dunlop patented the design and it was not long before bicycle and automobile manufacturers recognized the design's potential usefulness. In 1889, Dunlop opened its first tire plant in Dublin, Ireland. Ten years later, Dunlop's tire had almost entirely replaced solid tires, and the company bearing his name grew to be a major international corporation. To insure a steady supply of rubber, the Dunlop Rubber Company bought rubber plantations throughout the British colonies and Southeast Asia.
For more information: Dunlop Tires web site