Goodyear Donates Historic Films


Last year, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company donated its extensive collection of historic motion picture films to The University of Akron Archival Services, a division of University Libraries.  The collection consists of over 3,000 films that visually document the history of the world’s largest and most influential rubber company. 

The films date from 1898 to 2007 and are in a variety of formats including 16mm and 35mm nitrate and acetate base film as well as Beta, VHS, and DVD formats.  They are a treasure trove of information on a variety of important topics in American and world history including labor, factory conditions, tire and rubber production, lighter-than-air flight, parade balloons, war products, and amateur and professional racing. 

Some of the more important historic events captured in the collection include the maiden flight of the USS Akron, the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, one of the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades, the unveiling of Admiral Richard Byrd’s snow cruiser, the 1960 breaking of the land speed record, the building of the Alaska Pipeline, and the Akron Rubber Strike of 1936.  Also included is blimp footage of numerous sporting events such as Super Bowls, Olympics, and NASCAR and Grand Prix races. 

The films, which are now inventoried and available to the public, are of use to students, historians, scholars, and documentary film makers.  These and other resources on the history of Goodyear and the rubber and polymer industry are available by visiting Archival Services located in Room LL10 of the Polsky Building in downtown Akron.  Public hours are Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Additional information about Archival Services and its collections can be found on the department’s website at

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