1845 Robert W. Thomson invents and patents the pneumatic tire but finds no consumer demand for it. 1870 Benjamin Franklin Goodrich founds B.F. Goodrich in Akron, Ohio, the first rubber products maker in a city that later would claim to be the ``Tire and Rubber Capital of the World.''
1888 John Boyd Dunlop of Ireland develops first commercially practical pneumatic tire primarily for bicycles, which were the mechanized vehicles of that era.
1889 John Boyd Dunlop forms Pneumatic Tyre & Booth's Cycle Agency, which ultimately became the Dunlop Tire & Rubber Co., the first company founded specifically to make pneumatic tires.
1895 Brothers Edouard and Andre Michelin of France pioneer use of pneumatic tires on cars, illustrating their advantages in a race from Paris to Bordeaux.
1896 Automaker Alexander Winton of Cleveland commissions B.F. Goodrich to produce pneumatic tires for the first U.S. production car.
1898 Brothers Frank and Charles Seiberling buy an abandoned plant in Akron and found Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
1900 Harvey S. Firestone Sr. sells his carriage agency in Chicago and moves to Akron to found Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.
1903 Tire sizes standardized, permitting interchangeability among brands.
1907 Retreads first offered in England by Homerton Tyre & Rubber Co.
1909 Continental A.G. of Germany introduces first winter tread tire.
1915 William F. ``W.O.'' O'Neil, a former tire dealer in Kansas City, founds General Tire Co.
1917 First local association for tire dealers formed in Milwaukee.
1918 White sidewall tires introduced by Vogue Tyre & Rubber Co.
1921 National Tire Dealers Association founded in Chicago.
1926 Sears, Roebuck and Co. begins selling tires by mail.
Drop-center, one-piece rim adopted as standard equipment.
1935 Dealers reorganize in New York City under the name National Association of Independent Tire Dealers after the earlier NTDA suffers financial difficulties.
Congress passes the Robinson-Patman Act in response to association pressure for legislation prohibiting price discrimination by tire makers.
Uniform dimensions for highway tires agreed upon.
Pneumatic farm tractor tires introduced by Firestone and others.
1944 National association moves headquarters to Washington.
1947 B.F. Goodrich introduces first tubeless auto tire.
1948 Michelin introduces the steel-belted radial tire.
1955 National association changes its name in order to add the word ``Retreaders,'' becoming the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association.
1956 National association persuades Congress to drop the rate of the then-proposed federal excise tax on tread rubber from $1 to three cents per pound.
Government implementation, at the association's urging, of ``Tire Advertising Guides,'' intended to halt use of misleading tire names and descriptions.
1958 First Louisville Retreaders Conference held by Central States Retreaders Association, which in 1964 changed its name to the American Retreaders Association.
1960 ``Tires Building'' constructed at 1343 ``L'' St. in Washington to house association's headquarters.
National association again persuades Congress to limit the excise tax on tread rubber to 5 cents per pound rather than the suggested rate of 10 cents.
1968 U.S. government imposes safety standards on passenger tires.
1975 Radial passenger tires dominate original equipment market and begin making serious inroads on replacement market. Within five years, passenger radials outnumber bias tires in the aftermarket. Radials make steady but slower penetration of the replacement truck tire market due to their tubeless construction which necessitated the purchase of new wheels.
1978 The NTDRA clashes with National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Joan Claybrook over tire registration, which the association wanted to make voluntary.
Goodyear defends its ``sole supplier'' position regarding dealers at the NTDRA convention.
The NTDRA complains to tire makers about direct selling of truck tires.
1981 B.F. Goodrich quits the OE passenger tire market and introduces the first U.S.-made V-rated radial, the Comp T/A.
1982 Congress makes tire registration voluntary at the request of the NTDRA and others.
General Tire closes Akron plant, ending large-scale tire manufacturing in the ``Rubber City.''
1983 NTDRA moves to new offices at ``I'' St. in Washington, D.C., after outgrowing the ``Tires Building'' on ``L'' St.
Association asks for Federal Trade Commission probe of tire makers' direct-selling practices.
Goodyear boycotts the NTDRA trade show, saying it disagrees with the association's position on direct selling practices.
NTDRA-commissioned study by Louis E. Stern advises small independent dealerships to combine their purchasing and marketing operations in an effort to gain economies of scale in the increasingly competitive marketplace.
1984 Congress eliminates 25-year-old excise tax on tread rubber in response to lobbying by the NTDRA and its allies.
Michelin moves headquarters to Greenville, S.C., from Lake Success, N.Y.
1985 A hostile takeover of Uniroyal prompts a leveraged buyout by the New York investment firm of Clayton & Dubilier.
B.F. Goodrich ceases production of radial truck, farm, OTR tires to concentrate on replacement passenger tires-particularly high performance radials.
1986 Uniroyal and B.F.Goodrich merge their tire operations to form Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co.
Goodyear repells a hostile takeover attempt by Anglo-French financier James Goldsmith.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. of Japan purchases Dunlop Tire Corp. (U.S.)
1987 Big O Tires Inc. formed as a publicly held company.
General Tire purchased by Continental A.G. of Germany following a hostile takeover attempt on GenCorp, the tire maker's parent company.
Firestone decides to move its headquarters to Chicago and announces it will phase out its MasterCare program for independents.
General Tire and Japan's Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. agree to a technology exchange that includes building a joint U.S. tire plant.
1988 Bridgestone Corp. of Japan purchases Firestone, later merging the company with its own U.S. operations, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn.
Pirelli Group of Italy buys Armstrong Tire Co., later merging it with its U.S. marketing arm to form Pirelli Armstrong Tire Corp.
1989 Group Michelin of France announces plans to purchase Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co. But the transaction is delayed for 11 months by a U.S. Justice Dept. probe of its possible consequences.
Mohawk Rubber Co. is purchased by Japan's Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.
1990 General Tire announces plans to sell its 90 company-owned tire stores.
1992 Independent Tire Dealers' Bill of Rights adopted by the NTDRA.
Goodyear-brand tires go on sale at Sears, Roebuck and Co. automotive centers-the company's first departure from its former policy of selling Goodyear tires only through dealers and company-owned stores. The company later expanded its distribution by signing deals with Discount Tire Co. of Scottsdale, Ariz., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Canadian Tire Corp. In response, angry dealers in California later sue the company.
Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. begins selling the Firestone brand in warehouse clubs.
Michelin North America introduces its XLE passenger tire line exclusively at KMart Corp.
1995 The United Rubber Workers union, after its strike funds are depleted by the industry's longest strike against Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. and Pirelli Armstrong Tire Corp., merges with the United Steel Workers of America, after existing nearly 60 years as an independent organization.
Michelin North America relocates the former Uniroyal Goodrich headquarters from Akron to Greenville, S.C.
Continental A.G. moves all but the commercial tire sales operations of the former General Tire to Charlotte, N.C., leaving Goodyear the last such company headquartered in the ``Rubber City,'' once home to four of North America's ``Big Five'' tire makers.
The NTDRA marks its 75th anniversary.