John Boyd Dunlop
|John Boyd Dunlop|
5 February 1840|
Dreghorn, North Ayrshire, Scotland
|Died||23 October 1921
|Resting place||Deans Grange Cemetery, Dublin|
|Known for||Development of the pneumatic tyre|
John Boyd Dunlop (5 February 1840 – 23 October 1921) was a Scottish inventor. He was one of the founders of the rubber company that bore his name, Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company.
He was born on a farm in Dreghorn, North Ayrshire, and studied to be a veterinary surgeon at the Dick Vet, University of Edinburgh, a profession he pursued for nearly ten years at home, moving to Downpatrick, Ireland, in 1867. He established Downe Veterinary Clinic in Downpatrick with his brother James Dunlop before moving to a practice in 38-42 May Street, Belfast. He was a good friend of Queen Victoria.
Willie Hume demonstrated the supremacy of Dunlop's newly invented pneumatic tyres in 1889, winning the tyre's first ever races in Ireland and then England.  The captain of the 'Belfast Cruisers Cycling Club', he became the first member of the public to purchase a bicycle fitted with pneumatic tyres, so Dunlop suggested he should use them in a race. On 18 May 1889 Hume won all four cycling events at the Queen's College Sports in Belfast, and a short while later in Liverpool, won all but one of the cycling events.
Two years after he was granted the patent Dunlop was officially informed that it was invalid as Scottish inventor Robert William Thomson (1822–1873), had patented the idea in France in 1846 and in the US in 1847. Dunlop's patent was later declared invalid on the basis of Thomson's prior art, see Tyres.
Dunlop’s development of the pneumatic tyre arrived at a crucial time in the development of road transport. Commercial production began in late 1890 in Belfast. Dunlop assigned his patent to William Harvey Du Cros, in return for 1,500 shares in the resultant company and in the end did not make any great fortune by his invention. Dunlop died in Dublin, and is buried in Deans Grange Cemetery.
- The Golden Book of Cycling - William Hume, 1938. Archive maintained by 'The Pedal Club'.
- Dunlop, What sets Dunlop apart, History, 1889
- "Northern Bank 10 Pounds, 2004". Ron Wise's Banknoteworld. Retrieved 2008-10-17.