In August 1900 Harvey S. Firestone established The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. He seized on a new way of making carriage tires and started production with 12 employees in Akron, Ohio. From the start, Firestone worked relentlessly to improve quality and meet the needs of his customers. His hard work and dedication paid off in 1906 when Firestone tires was chosen by Henry Ford for the first mass-produced automobiles in America. In 1911, to put his tires to the ultimate test and for publicity, Firestone began what would become a legendary history in car racing by entering and winning the first Indy 500.
On the other side of the globe, Shojiro Ishibashi was transforming his small family business from making a traditional Japanese footwear called tabi, into a modern manufacturing enterprise. Ishibashi had established a viable business after patenting a rubber-soled tabi in 1923. In 1928, Ishabashi began research on tires with the ambition of becoming the first Japanese manufacturer.
The Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. was founded in 1931. Conscience of the Japanese consumerâ€™s love of American products, and cognizant of the global market, Ishibashi came up with the company name by reversing the English translation of his own name: â€œIshibashi,â€ which literally means, â€œstone-bridgeâ€ in Japanese. He preferred the sound of Bridgestone. It was very similar to Firestone, a company he greatly admired. Bridgestone entered the U.S. market in 1967 through a sales subsidiary in California.
In 1988, Bridgestone purchased Firestone, signaling the transformation of Bridgestone into a truly global corporation. Bridgestone and Firestone operations in the Americas were consolidated in 1990 under a unified organization called Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.
Bridgestone/Firestone claims to carry on a tradition of excellence established by its founders, blending Japanese and American methods to