Diamond Tires – The Diamond Rubber Company

Diamond Tires – The Diamond Rubber Company

Diamond Tires and the beginnings of the Diamond Rubber Company – The company started in 1894 under the name Sherbondy Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio. It was founded by Ohio C. Barber, president of the Diamond Match Company. In 1896, the company changed its name to the Diamond Rubber Company and they had much success until merging with the B. F. Goodrich in 1912. They started manufacturing bicycle tires and later moved on to automobile tire with the popularity of the horseless carriage. We will take a look at some of the early advertising and articles of the Diamond Rubber Company.

era-recordingPlay a period tune below – Jere Sanford’s yodeling and whistling specialty – 1910

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Akron Daily Democrat 1901 – Diamond Rubber Company Will Build –

The American Hard Rubber Co., which has enjoyed a monopoly since it organization, is to meet with some very lively competition. The Democrat learned Friday that ground would soon be broken by the Diamond Rubber Co., for a building 500 feet long, 80 feet wide and four stories high. This immense addition will be located on the company’s land, the old site of tho Diamond Match Co.

The fact that so large a building is to be erected has caused considerable comment in local rubber circles. The officials of the Diamond Co. have not given out any information relative to the use to which the structure would be put Friday. It was ascertained that the company intended to enter the hard rubber field and that the new building would be equipped with machinery for the manufacture of articles of that kind.

1909 diamond tire ad

Los Angeles herald 1909

First Automobile Race In America Was Won On Diamond Tires – Here is an interesting article that was published in the Los Angeles herald in 1909. It seems to take liberty with certain facts about the Diamond Tire that left me confused. There are also period tire ads around the article too. Note: Does this article say that the very first auto race was one of these tires? I’ve seen conflicting information.

FIRST AUTO RACE ON DIAMONDS – Some interesting side lights on the history of automobile development are shown in a sketch of the growth of the Diamond tire business that has lately been prepared.

1910 diamond tire advertisement

Goodwin’s Weekly 1910

The first automobile race in America was won on Diamond tires. It was held on Long Island, and the winning machine was built by Mr. A. L. Riker, now of the Locomobile company. Those were particularly the first lot of automobiles made in America. The Diamond Rubber company had equipped a few of the cars of different construction up to that time as an experiment, and the success of these tires over the solid rubber, steel and other tires, which had been tried, was so pronounced that the demand for the Diamond product grew very rapidly—that is, rapidly, comparatively. One order which the Diamond Rubber company received early in the pioneer days of automobiling was for sixteen sets of tires, which was considered at that time a “corker,” although today it is not unusual for an order of three or four thousand sets of tires to be built at the Diamond factory.

1917 Diamond-Tire

The Coconino Sun 1917

Although It was for nearly a year that the Diamond company supplied all the automobile tires made in America, the company’s product, partly by reason of the start it obtained, but more largely because these tires have from the beginning a very excellent name, has ever had a conspicuous place in the industry. Just as the builders of automobiles have made vast improvements since the inception of the business, so have the tire makers been able to profit by their experience from season to season, until today high grade tires are so much better than the tires of several years ago that there can be no comparison. Note: Supplied ALL automobile tires in America?

1919 diamond-tire ad

The Coconino Sun 1919

One way in which the Diamond Rubber company has been able to reach the high place in the trade, which is everywhere conceded, is by keeping in close touch with users of their goods by correspondence, etc., and making the most careful observations with regard to the work Diamond tires have done. It was in this manner that Diamond wrapped thread tires were developed, and evils like rim cutting, due to the stiff construction or other causes, and other things of a like character, were eliminated. Diamond wrapped thread tires were the first in America made by the wrapped process, but this includes more than merely the wrapped or open steam method of curing. The claim is made that the wrapped tread feature, while important, is only one of the six distinct points in Diamond construction, without all of which the wrapped tread itself possesses no extensive value. Ed note: Does this imply that Diamond was the first company to make a ply tire?

Such has been the demand for Diamond tires, however, both from manufacturers of automobiles and automobile owners, that today Diamond wrapped tread construction is produced in more types of tires than any other in the world. As for instance, the regular clincher type, the quick detachable type, the Fisk type and the Dunlop type, to say nothing of the distinctive styles of treads, such as the grip tread, Bailey tread, etc.,


Mohave County Miner 1921

An interesting fact not open to question is that not one article of a definite make, which goes to equip an automobile, has participated in more contests, races, endurance runs, transcontinental trips, etc., than Diamond tires. They equipped the majority of the cars in the first endurance run in America and they have been used more times, eleven of the fourteen times in transcontinental undertakings. They were conspicuous in the first Vanderbilt race in America, and in all subsequent races form Ormond Beach to Seattle, and from Portland, Maine, to Los Angeles. A striking illustration of the popularity of Diamond tires the country over came in a recent letter to the Diamond Rubber company from a western senator, whose name would be immediately recognized if mentioned. He said: “If I had as many friends, and as many influential friends, as Diamond wrapped tread tires, I would be elected president.”

It seems to me that a lot of liberty was taken with this article as I am unable to corroborate much of it. perhaps the writer was from Diamond and it got past the editor 😉 If anyone knows ….. leave a comment below.

Comments (7)

  1. Jimmy Forrest

    I have a old ash tray shaped like a tire with Diamond Balloon on the side wall and the glass center has the Diamond logo . it was my grandpa’s .. so cool.

    1. Kelly Keirstead

      Hello i am looking for information about the Diamond rubber company from 1912 . I am researching family history and recently received my grandfathers birth cert from 1912 he was born in Akron and it says my Great grandfather worked for Diamond rubber co. i can not make out his specific job But they moved from Massachusetts where they were both born and all their family was. Is there anyway to find out what he did for a job. or if anyone could suggest an historian in the area who may know about the company and their employees. Thank you for your time and any help you may be able to give me. His name was Michael J Walsh he was 34 years old in 1912.

      1. Roxy

        Kelly Keirstead, I realize you asked for help a year ago, but I just now saw this post as I was looking for info on Diamond Tire. It would help to also know your g’father’s name and birth year as well. I can look them up on Ancestry for you.

  2. Mary Moore

    Are you interested in a photo of 9 gentlemen standing in front of a window painted with “Diamond Tires” and under an awning edged with “The Diamond Rubber Company of N. …” (that’s all that’s in the photo)? I am happy to send it by mail if you would like the original.

  3. admin (Post author)

    If you email me a copy in .jpg, .gif or .png, I would be happy to post it on this page with a credit to you Mary. mail at oldautonews.com – thx

  4. Nathan

    I came upon your page in a search for information on a tire lever I obtained a few months ago. it seemed kind of small, but now I know it is most likely a bicycle tire lever. it’s labeled “diamond rubber company, Akron, ohio.”

  5. Roger Dodds

    Hi, I have a Diamond White hard rubber tire mounted on wood spoke wheel. Does it have any value?


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