I am hoping that you can settle a disagreement that I am having with a friend. We were talking about museums, I told him that there was a Goodyear tire museum, and that I went there as a kid. He says it doesn’t exist, and thinks that I dreamed it up. I know it exists and that it is somewhere in Ohio. Can you settle this for us, Tracy?
Actually, you and your friend are both correct. Indeed, there was a museum at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in Akron, Ohio, but it is no longer there. Sadly, the World of Rubber museum closed after 61 years in 2009. I personally can vouch for the museum’s existence as the Treadmore family made many a trip there throughout my childhood. Some of the exhibits included Indy-style race cars, a World War II aircraft fuselage, and a tire from a lunar buggy. My favorite, though, was the recreation of Charles Goodyear workshop. You can see a picture of it here. (We visited so often, that might even be my mom & me in the picture!)
The decision to close the free museum at Goodyear headquarters was said to be due in part to a lack of interest. I just can’t imagine why more folks did not go! Clearly, they did not know what they were missing.
Fortunately, tire enthusiasts can still enjoy a virtual tour through Goodyear chronology by visiting the history section of the corporate website.