How Tires Have Evolved Over the Decades

October 3, 2022

Most people don't give much thought to the design of their car tires. However, tire design has come a long way since the early days of automobiles. From the material, it’s made of to the tread design itself tires have continued to improve over time. Understanding how those changes have led to making new tires safer can give you peace of mind as you drive down the road.

Tires in The 1800s-1900s

The earliest cars were equipped with solid rubber tires. These were fine for driving on dirt or gravel roads but made travel on paved roads difficult. They also didn't provide much in the way of comfort or noise reduction. Then in 1888, John Dunlop create the first pneumatic tire. This type of tire was filled with air, which made for a much smoother ride. Pneumatic tires quickly became the standard for new tires in passenger vehicles.

Tires in the 1920s-1950s

In the 1920s, came the next major improvement to new tires; tread patterns. Tire companies began adding tread patterns to their tires to provide drivers with better traction, especially in wet or icy conditions. Then during World War II, rubber was rationed for use in military applications. As a result, tire companies had to get creative with alternative materials. Tires were made from vegetable fibers, wood products, and even synthetic rubber derived from petroleum. After the war tires began to be created and manufactured with regular rubber again. Following this revert back to regular rubber, BF Goodrich innovated a new design that comprised a tubeless tire. This type of tire did away with the inner tube, which could puncture and cause flats which are still sold in tire shops in Greenville NC today.

Tires Today

Today's tires are made from different compounds including synthetic rubber and other synthetic materials. They are designed to provide good traction in all weather conditions and last for tens of thousands of miles. Tire companies continue to experiment with new designs and materials in an effort to improve safety, fuel economy, and performance. These continued improvements have made even used tires safer on the road than tires of decades past.

Pugh’s Tire and Service Centers | Tire Shops in Greenville NC

Tire design has come a long way since the early days of the automobile. Today's tires are made mostly of synthetic materials that were unavailable during the early days of the automotive industry. This improved technology while based on early tire design provides drivers with unmatched safety and durability that keep their vehicle on the road longer. At Pugh’s Tire and Service Centers, we offer a huge selection of new and used tires to fit any make and model. Our team of expert technicians is here to provide you with unmatched customer service to help ensure your vehicle is ready for whatever life has to throw at it. Whether you use your vehicle for work, going to class at East Carolina University, or something else visit our website and see our inventory or schedule a tire repair today.