The Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Company started in 1898 when Frank Seiberling purchased the company's first plant using money he borrowed from a brother-in-law. The rubber and cotton had to be transported from halfway around the world, to a landlocked town that had only limited rail transportation. Seiberling named the company after the courageous pioneer Charles Goodyear, the discoverer of vulcanisation. He also determined the distinctive winged-foot trademark that remains a symbolic link with the company's past.
With just 13 workers, Goodyear production began with a product line of bicycle and carriage tyres, horseshoe pads and poker chips. After the first full month of business, sales amounted to $8,246. Since the first bicycle tyre in 1898, Goodyear has pedaled its way toward becoming the world's largest tyre company, a title it earned in 1916 when it adopted the slogan "More people ride on Goodyear tyres than on any other kind". It became the world's largest rubber company in 1926. These legendary early years set the tone which continues to be felt in all aspects of the company and its relationship with its customers.