John Boyd Dunlop Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

John Boyd Dunlop

1 Conversation

Born into a farming family in Dreghorn in Ayrshire, John Boyd Dunlop was a veterinary surgeon by profession, having qualified at Edinburgh University when he was only 19.

He worked as a vet in Edinburgh for nearly ten years before moving to Belfast. He built up a large practise in Ireland but, in so doing, he found the rough roads combined with the iron, wood, or solid rubber wheels an uncomfortable way to travel. He experimented with his son's tricycle and in 1887 he came up with a design based on an inflated rubber tube and patented it the following year.

This was not the first time someone had tried this solution. Another Scot, Robert William Thomson, had patented the idea in 1845, unbeknownst to Dunlop.

John Dunlop did not benefit much financially from his invention because he sold the patent and company name early on. Despite Thomson's earlier work, Dunlop is credited with the invention of the modern rubber tyre.

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Conversations About This Entry

Edited Entry


Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Categorised In:

Edited by

h2g2 Editors


h2g2 Entries

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more