8. Pneumatic Tyre

Strange as it may seem, the pneumatic tyre was invented by a veterinary surgeon John Dunlop. He was a Scottish veterinary surgeon living in Ireland.

The tyres of Dunlop’s son’s tricycle were getting damaged all the time! He wanted to protect the tyres from such damages due to the bad roads.

Robert Thomson, a civil engineer, had already designed and patented in 1845, a hallow rubber tube which could be filled with air or horsehair.

But Dunlop wanted something stronger and better than just the air filled tubes. In 1888, he made the first pneumatic tyre with a rubber outer casing and an inner tube which can be filled with air, through a valve.

This was the first pneumatic tyre filled with air under pressure.

The pneumatic tyres were used in the motor vehicles in 1895. Five years later, the Dunlop Rubber Company produced its first motor tyres.

A truck as big as a house and carrying tons of things is supported by the almost weightless air in its tyres. Isn’t this a miracle made possible by the science?

Visalakshi Ramani


2 Responses to 8. Pneumatic Tyre

  1. Soma says:

    Great information – I did read about this looooooong back but this is a good refresher.

    I guess in simple terms , the pressure of air dictates the load that the tyre can carry .

    eg. a 1800kg laden car means each tyre has to bear 450kg – and that would dictate the pressure(kg/cm2g OR psi) of air that needs to be filled in based on the volume of air inside.

    Am I correct in my understanding or is there more?

    • Small wonder friend! 🙂
      Pneumatic Tyre was discovered looooong ago. Right?
      These are the articles prepared for the Young World –
      the Children’s magazine section of The Hindu.
      So I made them simple, to the point and interesting to the young children!
      Welcome to read serious articles from my other blogs
      listed in my website http://visalakshiramani.weebly.com/

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