Fun Fact February 1, 2022.

Tool time Tuesday and today we’re inflating a tire.  The rear tire on my vintage tractor went flat recently.  It not only went flat, the sidewall of the tire actually blew out.  I think the tire came on the tractor from the factory, in 1985, so it doesn’t owe me anything.  Got me to thinking about tires, especially inflatable tires.  Turns out the same guy who invented the fountain pen invented the pneumatic tire, that is a tire that holds air.  Robert William Thomson from Stonehaven, Scotland was 23 years old when he patented his pneumatic tire. He was granted a patent in France in 1846 and in the US in 1847. His tire consisted of a hollow belt of India-rubber inflated with air so that the wheels created “a cushion of air to the ground, rail or track on which they run”. This elastic belt of rubberized canvas was enclosed within a strong outer casing of leather which was bolted to the wheel. Thomson’s “Aerial Wheels” were demonstrated in London’s Regent’s Park in March 1847 and were fitted to several horse-drawn carriages, greatly improving the comfort of travel and reducing noise.  His tire worked well but was too expensive to catch on.  Thompson is credited with several other inventions, including the fountain pen in 1849.   Listen to the podcast here;