John Boyd Dunlop

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John Boyd Dunlop (February 5, 1840October 23, 1921), born in Scotland, was inventor who founded the rubber company that bears his name, Dunlop Tyres.

He was born on a farm at Dreghorn, North Ayrshire, and studied to be a veterinary surgeon at the Dick Vet, University of Edinburgh, a profession he pursued for nearly ten years at home, moving to Belfast in what is now Northern Ireland, in 1867.

In 1887, he developed the first practical pneumatic or inflatable tyre for his son's tricycle, tested it, and patented it on December 7 1888. However, two years after he was granted the patent Dunlop was officially informed that it was invalid as Scottish inventor Robert William Thomson, had patented the idea in France in 1846 and in the US in 1847. Dunlop’s development of the pneumatic tyre arrived at a crucial time in the development of road transport. He also had his own veterinarian practice in Ireland. Commercial production began in late 1890 in Belfast. Dunlop assigned his patent to William Harvey Du Cros, in return for 1,500 shares in the resultant company, and in the end did not make any great fortune by his invention. Dunlop died in Dublin, and is buried in Deans Grange Cemetery.

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