Our History

We’re proud of our 115-year history of innovation, service, and quality.

  • 1900
  • 1910
  • 1920
  • 1930
  • 1940
  • 1950
  • 1960
  • 1970
  • 1980
  • 1990
  • 2000
  • 2010

    1903

    Firestone Begins Manufacturing Tires

    Firestone began manufacturing its own tires for the first time in 1903, and by late summer of the next year, they’d developed the first mechanically-fastened, straight-sided pneumatic automobile tire.

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    1906

    Firestone Delivers 2000 Sets of Tires to Ford

    Firestone delivered 2,000 sets of tires to the Ford Motor Company. It was the largest single order for tires places by the auto industry to date, and would start a business partnership that would last for decades.

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    1910

    Firestone Opens Akron, Ohio Factory

    In 1910, profits for The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company exceeded $1 million for the first time. By June 1910, Firestone’s new factory in Akron, Ohio opened. A few years later, Ohio became the hub of the tire industry, leading manufacturing of automobile castings and rubber inner tubes. It also had more rubber workers than any other state, with 63,637 people working at various tire companies. Firestone’s line of plants, which extended for more than a mile, was linked together by more than six miles of interplant railroad and a 70-ton locomotive. The company now had its own rail line to move raw materials and finished products.

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    1911

    Firestone Racing Win

    On May 30, 2011, Ray Harroun drove his Firestone-equipped Marmon Wasp to victory at the inaugural Indianapolis 500® mile race.

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    1920

    William Howard Taft Visits Akron

    Ex-President William Howard Taft arrived in Akron and visited with Harvey S. Firestone. It was one of the first indicators that Firestone was becoming an important figure in national affairs.

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    1923

    Firestone Plantation Company

    On October 14, 1923, Harvey S. Firestone announced the completion of an agreement with the Liberian Government by which the Firestone Plantation Company obtained a 99-year lease of one million acres of land suitable for growing rubber.

    1930

    Creation of the Bridgestone Company and Production of the First Tire

    Using the capital accumulated from Jika-tabi and the rubber shoe business, Shojiro Ishibashi decided to make tires, which was an industry that didn't exist in Japan at that time.

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    1938

    Harvey S. Firestone Died

    On February 7, 1938, Harvey S. Firestone died in his sleep at his vacation home in Miami Beach.

    1955

    Firestone Becomes World’s Largest Rubber Producer

    On May 31, 1955, Firestone became the world’s largest rubber producer, producing at a rate of one million pounds of rubber per day. By 1959, the company had a total of 71 plants in 19 countries.

    1960

    Firestone Featured in Dun’s Review

    In September of 1960, Dun’s Review, a business magazine, picked Firestone as one of the 10 best managed companies in the nation.

    1970

    Firestone Setbacks

    Now ranked 37 in the top 50 American corporations, the diversification of Firestone had accelerated to areas ranging from coated fabrics to footwear. But the 1970s brought some significant setbacks for Firestone. On Oct. 17, 1973, Arab nations began an oil embargo against the United States in an attempt to raise prices and alter U.S. support of Israel. This began a series of consequences which impacted Firestone and other American tire makers for years to come—people started driving less and not as far, and the demand increased for smaller European and Japanese cars. In 1975, despite years of success, Firestone officially stepped out of motorsports. A few years later, in the biggest product recall in the nation’s history at the time, Firestone recalled 400,000 Firestone 500 steel-belted radial tires at a cost of $148.3 million.

    1976

    Shojiro Ishibashi Died

    During this period of growth and expansion, the Bridgestone family of companies also lost its founder— Shojiro Ishibashi died on Sept. 11, 1976.

    1978

    Bridgestone Introduced the Super Filler Radial to the Market

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    1979

    Bridgestone Released the High-Performance POTENZA Radial Tire

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    1984

    Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. was renamed to Bridgestone Corporation

    2000

    Bridgestone Corporation Builds Chemical and Industrial Products Technical Center

    The Chemical and Industrial Products Technical Center was built inside the plant in Yokohama, Japan to serve as the technology and innovation hub for the company's growing Diversified Products business.

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    2007

    Bridgestone Acquires Bandag

    Bridgestone Americas acquired Bandag, Incorporated, a tire retreader based in the United States. This allowed Bridgestone to provide truck and bus tire customers worldwide with leading technology and a total tire solution.

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    2008

    Bridgestone begins its NFL sponsorship

    Bridgestone began its National Football League® sponsorship with the halftime show at Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona. The sponsorship was later renewed and evolved into an integrated marketing sponsorship that designates the Bridgestone brand as the “Official Tire of the National Football League.”

    2009

    First Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® begins naming-rights partnership

    Bridgestone began its naming-rights partnership with the National Hockey League’s marquee outdoor game. The inaugural Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic was played at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks.

    2014

    Bridgestone Winter Classic reaches record-breaking viewership

    The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic reached a record-breaking 8.2 million North American viewers; the largest national audience in the U.S. and Canada, and it hosted 105,491 fans at the game – the largest crowd ever to see an NHL hockey game at one time. It was named the Sports Business Journal’s 2014 Sports Event of the Year.

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    2015

    Bridgestone Arena is Arena of the Year

    Bridgestone Arena was named the 2014 Arena of the Year by Pollstar Magazine. It’s the first time that Bridgestone Arena has taken home top venue honors after being nominated 11 previous times, including nominations in each of the eight years prior.

    2016

    Firestone Celebrates the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500

    On May 29, 2016, the motorsports world celebrated the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Rookie driver Alexander Rossi crossed the legendary yard of bricks first, becoming the 67th Firestone-shod Indy 500 winner – more Indy 500 victories than all other tire manufacturers combined.

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