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(born Dec. 29, 1800, New Haven, Conn., U.S.died July 1, 1860, New York, N.Y.) U.S. inventor of the vulcanization process that permitted the commercial use of rubber. Interested in treating rubber so that it would lose its adhesive quality and not melt, he discovered vulcanization in 1839 when he accidentally dropped a rubber-sulfur mixture onto a hot stove. The process would prove profoundly important for the future uses of rubber. He patented it in 1844 but had to fight numerous patent infringements in the U.S. and Europe. He never profited from his discovery, and he died in debt. The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (founded 1898) honours his name.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Goodyear, Charles, visit Britannica.com.
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