John Boyd Dunlop Founder of Dunlop Tyres
John Boyd Dunlop Founder of Dunlop Tyres

Biography of John Boyd Dunlop

Early Life

John Boyd Dunlop founder of Dunlop Tyres was born on 5th February, 1840 on a farm built in Dreghorn, Noth Ayrshire. He got a degree in profession of veterinary surgeon. He studied that profession at the Dick Vet, University of Edinburgh. He was very much interested in this profession since from his childhood. After perusing that degree almost for ten years at home, he migrated in 1867 to Downpatrick, Ireland. There he started practicing his degree by founding Downe Veterinary Clinic in Downpatrick. He opened it with the collaboration of his own brother James Dunlop. After working with his brother for sometime he moved his office to another place and started practicing there. His next office was in 38 -42 May Street, Belfast.

He was also a friend of Queen Victoria.

Interest in Tire Making Business

His entry in tire making business was somehow accidental or based on fortune. In 1887, for repairing his son’s tricycle he developed his first practical pneumatic or inflatable tire. He made some experiments over it again and again. He made some good experiments and made fine pneumatic tire. Then after making one tire, he tried and made another tire which was finer than the first one. This created some interest in his mind and he advanced to bicycles, and this time the results were more astonishing. He tried that tire in Cherryvale sports ground, South Belfast. He got its patents on 7th December 1888.

Founder of Dunlop Tires

The tires that he invented were with the name of Dunlop Tires but he had a problem in getting patents. The problem was that before his invention of that tire some one other from Scotland already made same sort of tires. That Scottish person already got the patents for that in the U.S. and in France. So it was difficult for him to get patents. In many countries his idea became invalid. But there were some incidents that increased the demand of his tires; one of them was a bicycling race. The president of that race purchased a bicycle and fitted his pneumatic tires into that bicycle. He suggested that person to use those tires in racing. By this his tire’s demand increase and for marketing and selling of his tires he founded a company which was named as Dunlop Tires Company.

Dunlop Rubber Company

Dunlop Tyres is a brand name for tires of vehicles which was initially made by John Boyd Dunlop. But now-a-days this brand name for tires comes under the company named Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. This company sale the Dunlop tires also in different regions of the world which include North America, Europe and Australia also. In other areas like India and Africa, there are other companies which are involved in selling of this brand. In 1985 the company which was involved in selling of this brand was named as Dunlop Rubber Company, which was then sold to BTR plc.

In history this brand didn’t got any parent company which made this brand of tires bu from its beginning to till now there are so many companies which got the permission or contract for making and selling the tires under this brand name.


He died in Dublin on 23rd October, 1921. His body is buried into a graveyard named Deans Grange Cemetery.