Inventors: John Dunlop

Add to My Folder
This item has 2 stars of a maximum 5

Rated 2/5 from 5 ratings (Write a review)

By John Davisteacher and freelance writer

The inventor, John Dunlop, features in the 2014 Science curriculum. Conduct experiments to investigate rubber and wheels.

About John Dunlop

John Dunlop

John Dunlop, born in Scotland in 1840, first had the idea for an inflatable rubber tyre when he saw his young son trying to ride his tricycle across the yard at their home in Ireland. The boy found it difficult to make the tricycle move quickly over the cobblestones on metal wheels.

Dunlop made a tube out thin rubber sheets and filled it with air using a football pump. These new tyres were fitted to both the back wheels of his son’s tricycle and as a result movement was both easier and smoother.

When the captain of the local cycling team began to win races on his bicycle fitted with Dunlop’s pneumatic tyres everyone began to take notice. In 1890 commercial production started with the formation of the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company in Dublin.

With the development of road transport, these new tyres arrived at just the right time and the rapidly expanding company moved first to Coventry in England and then to Birmingham.

Subscriber-only content

Scholastic Resource Bank: Primary - subscribe today!

  • Over 6,000 primary activities, lesson ideas and resources
  • Perfect for anyone working with children from 5 to 11 years old
  • Unlimited access – only £15 per year!