Harvey Samuel Firestone

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Harvey Samuel Firestone
Harvey Samuel Firestone.jpg
Harvey Firestone (1915)
Born (1868-12-20)December 20, 1868
Columbiana, Ohio, U.S.
Died February 7, 1938(1938-02-07) (aged 69)
Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
Occupation Founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
Spouse(s) Idabelle Smith Firestone
Children Harry (12–16 April 1897)
Harvey, Jr. (1898–1973)
Russell (1901-1951)
Leonard (1907-1996)
Raymond (1908-1994)
Roger (1912-1970)
Elizabeth (1914-1941)
Firestone in 1931

Harvey Samuel Firestone (December 20, 1868 – February 7, 1938) was an American businessman, and the founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, one of the first global makers of automobile tires.

Family background[edit]

Firestone was born on the Columbiana, Ohio farm built by his paternal grandfather. He was the second of Benjamin and Catherine (née Flickinger) Firestone's three sons; Benjamin had a son and a daughter by his first wife.

Firestone's paternal great-great-great-grandfather, Nicholas Hans Feuerstein, immigrated from Berg/Alsace/France,[1] in 1753, and settled in Pennsylvania.[2] Three of Nicholas's sons - including Harvey's great-great-grandfather, Johan Nicholas - changed their surname to "Firestone".[3] Firestone's birthplace was moved years later to Greenfield Village, a 90-acre (360,000 m2) historical site founded by Henry Ford.

On 20 November 1895, Firestone married Idabelle Smith,[4] and had seven children. Andrew Firestone (the son of Henry Ford's grandson and Harvey and Idabelle's granddaughter Martha), and Nick Firestone are among their great-grandchildren.

Education and career[edit]

After graduating from Columbiana High School, Firestone worked for the Columbus Buggy Company in Columbus, Ohio before starting his own company in 1890, making rubber tires for carriages. In 1900 he soon saw the huge potential for marketing tires for automobiles and then founded the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, a pioneer in the mass production of tires. In 1926 he published a book, Men and Rubber: The Story of Business, which was written in collaboration with Samuel Crowther.[5]

Death[edit]

In 1938, Firestone died peacefully at his vacation home in Miami Beach, Florida at the age of 69.[6]

The Millionaires' Club[edit]

Firestone, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison were generally considered the three leaders in American industry at the time, and often worked and vacationed together.[7] All three were part of a very exclusive group titled "The Millionaires' Club."

Legacy[edit]

The main library of Princeton University is named Firestone Library in his honor. It is among the largest university libraries in the world. On August 3, 1950 the Harvey S Firestone Memorial, a large sculpture ensemble dedicated to Firestone, created by sculptors James Earle Fraser and Donald De Lue was dedicated. It is located at Bridgestone Firestone Inc., 1200 Firestone Parkway in Akron, Ohio. In 1973, Firestone was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. Firestone High School in Akron, Ohio, is named in his honor. There is a Harvey S Firestone Park in Columbiana, Ohio.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Familytreemaker.genealogy.com
  2. ^ "Shirer Family Genealogy Project, Person Page 1670" ancestry.com 18 October 2010
  3. ^ "Shirer Family Genealogy Project, Person Page 1687" ancestry.com 18 October 2010
  4. ^ "Shirer Family Genealogy Project, Person Page 11733" ancestry.com 18 October 2010
  5. ^ Men and Rubber: The Story of Business. By Harvey Samuel Firestone, in collaboration with Samuel Crowther. London: William Heinemann & Co., printed in U.S.A., 1926.
  6. ^ "Harvey Firestone is Dead in Florida. Rubber Manufacturer Dies in Sleep at His Miami Beach Estate. He Was 69.". New York Times. February 8, 1938. "Harvey S. Firestone, a farm boy who built one of the largest rubber businesses in the world, died of a coronary thrombosis as he slept early today in the great mansion of Harbel Villa, an ocean-front estate he acquired in 1924. He was 69 years old." 
  7. ^ Zumbrun, Francis Champ. "Famous Travelers - Edison, Ford and Firestone". Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved February 4, 2013. 

External links[edit]