June 15, 1844

Charles Goodyear Receives Patent for Vulcanized Rubber

Greater Boston

On this day in 1844, after a decade of hardship and perseverance, Charles Goodyear received a patent for vulcanized rubber. The first boots and clothing made from rubber had performed poorly in the American environment. They melted in the heat and cracked in the cold. Determined to find a way to make rubber stable and pliable, Goodyear moved his family to Massachusetts, where the nation's first rubber factories were located. When one after another of his experiments failed, his family fell into poverty. Finally, on a winter's day in 1839, Goodyear hit on a formula that worked. It took another five years, but in 1844 he patented the process. Charles Goodyear became a celebrity and vulcanized rubber became an unremarkable part of everyday life.

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