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date: 15 December 2019

Firestone, Harvey Samuellocked

(20 December 1868–07 February 1938)
  • Michael French

Extract

Firestone, Harvey Samuel (20 December 1868–07 February 1938), founder and chief executive of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, the son of Benjamin Firestone and Catherine Flickinger, farmers. Firestone attended Columbiana High School and the Spencerian Business College, Cleveland. After briefly working as a bookkeeper and a patent medicine salesman, Firestone joined the Columbus Buggy Company, which was owned by his uncle Clinton. In 1895 he married Idabelle Smith of Jackson, Michigan; the couple had six children. A year later Columbus Buggy went bankrupt, and Firestone moved into mounting solid tires on carriage wheels. The business expanded but in 1898 was absorbed into the Consolidated Rubber Tire Company, the leading carriage tire producer because of its possession of the Grant patent, which covered the most effective method of attaching tires to wheel rims—the use of wires embedded within the tire. Firestone received $42,000 and remained as a manager until 1900, when he joined Whitman and Barnes, an Akron engineering firm, as manager of the tire department....

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