By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (August 3, 2022) – In Issue 2022-135 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, we meet Harvey Firestone and his tire company.


Harvey Firestone started his namesake company 122 years ago today in Akron, Ohio.

Firestone first sold specialty side-wire tires for fire apparatus, then tires for buggies.  Soon Harvey realized the future for tires was in automobiles.  His friendship with Henry Ford surely accelerated his focus on autos.

As the century progressed, Firestone ventured into other business areas.  It leveraged its knowledge of plastics and rubber to create Firestone Building Products which primarily sells membranes for flat roofs.  This business, recently sold, is flourishing.  Interestingly, Firestone also ventured into surface-to-surface guided missiles after World War II among many other tangential categories.  Not surprisingly, this broad focus on many unrelated categories and presumably defocus on the core business led to financial issues for Firestone.

Eventually Firestone merged with Bridgestone in 1988. 

This Railroad map of Ohio was issued by the State 12 years after Firestone was founded.  No mention or indication of roads.

Ohio RR map circa 1912 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.