Who is Charles Goodyear? Information on American inventor of vulcanization of rubber Charles Goodyear biography, life story, works and inventions.
Charles Goodyear; (1800-1860), American inventor of vulcanization of rubber. He was born in New Haven, Conn., on Dec. 29, 1800, and entered his father’s pioneer hardware business in 1821. India rubber and its possibilities were already very much in the minds of inventors. The basic problem, in which Goodyear was interested, was how to treat the crude rubber so that its elastic and waterproof qualities would be unaffected by temperature changes.
Goodyear spent a number of years in unsuccessful attempts to solve this problem. Then, in 1837, he purchased the rights of athaniel Hayward, who had had some success with rubber mixed with sulfur. One day he aceidentally dropped some of the rubber-sulfur mixture on a hot stove. When it had cooled the next morning, Goodyear saw that his problem was solved. He named the heating process “vulcanization.”
After extensive experimentation, Goodyear was granted a U. S. patent in 1844. His English and French patents were lost by legal technicalities, and his attempts to establish factories in both countries failed. His American patent was upheld against numerous infringements in 1852. ‘However, Coodyear’s rights were ruthlessly pirated, even by his own associates. In 1885 he was arrested and imprisoned in Paris for debts not of his making. Goodyear died, poor, overworked, and disappointed, in New York City on July 1, 1860, leaving a heavy debt to his family.