February 11, 2014
Many people know visionaries such as Abraham Lincoln, Martha Gram, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. but I am here to talk about an unsung hero. A man whose life impacted everything we have in a modern world. A man who had a dream and followed it even when everyone doubted and laughed in his face. I am talking about the legendary Charles Goodyear.
Charles Goodyear was born December 29, 1800 in New Haven Connecticut. He was born the youngest of 4 brothers and his mothers favorite. In 1814 Goodyear moved to Philadelphia to get a job in the hardware business. He learned the trade and moved back to co-manage his fathers hardware store, but after it failed two years later he decided to take an interest in the rubber business which led to a very successful and influential life.
He started his own hardware store in 1826. He was headed towards a wealthy life until he broke down with dyspepsia in 1929. In 1830 he started toying around with his interest in rubber. In 1939 Goodyear visited a general store in Philadelphia to sell his rubber material. After being laughed at and ridiculed for the hundredth time Goodyear started making wild gestures with the product and a piece of the rubber putty flew off and landed on a potbellied stove. He discovered that it transformed the rubber putty into a sturdy yet flexible substance. Thus the process of vulcanizing rubber was born.
Everyone wanted to try this life altering material.