Wilson, Dr. Gregory S., Rubber Workers Oral History Collection

Range: 2014 - 2014 Size: 0.17 Record Group: $content.recordGroup

The Dr. Gregory S. Wilson Rubber Workers Oral History Collection consists of seven oral histories conducted by students in his Oral History class at The University of Akron, which took place in Spring Semester 2014. The oral histories include digital audio recordings and transcripts of interviews with people who worked in various positions in Akron’s rubber industry, mostly at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and Firestone Tire & Rubber Company.  This includes Dr. Charles Bell, Al Fitch, Don Heffner, Jim Hooks, Rick Houck, Dave Persons, and Mike Waugh. 

Wilson, Dr. Charles W., Papers

Range: 1960s - 1970s Size: 1.0 Record Group: $content.recordGroup

Dr. Charles W. Wilson is an Emeritus Professor of Physics at The University of Akron (UA) and member of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). His papers include correspondence, publications, presentation notes, curriculum vitas, research notebooks, and syllabi. They also consist of materials collected by Wilson including publications of his colleagues at UA and annual reports, meeting minutes, and photographs from the Department of Physics and the Institute of Polymer Science as well as records relating to the AAUP. 

Talalay Foam Rubber Archives

Range: 1920s - 1994 Size: 12 cubic feet Record Group: 99/250

Dr. Joseph Talalay and his sons, Leon and Anselm, were integral players in the history of rubber. They developed and perfected a process to make latex sponge rubber that was more sustainable than other processes. Much of their work occurred at the B.F. Goodrich Company in Akron, Ohio during the 1950s and '60s. The process was used by over 20 countries across the world and has continued to be used to create mattresses, pillows and other products comprised of foam rubber. The archive contains material relating to the Talalay Foam Rubber Process and the Talalay Family and includes agreements, correspondence, patents, products, processes, reports, foam rubber samples, and blueprints and photographs of plants and machinery.

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Shoman, Edward C., Papers

Range: 1930 - 2003 Size: 4.34 cubic feet Record Group: 99/133

Edward C. Shoman was the marketing manager of big tire sales at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio. His papers include business correspondence, reports, and personal notes from his 34 years at Goodyear in addition to numerous Goodyear related photographs, slides, video tapes, and published materials that mostly document Goodyear's off-the-road tires.

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Shilts, W. D.

Range: 1908 - 1955 Size: 2 cubic feet Record Group:

Correspondence, clipping file and research notes of William Delbert Shilts, official of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, including a manuscript history of the company, 1898-1927.

Semon, Waldo L., Papers

Range: 1926 - 1990 Size: 9 cubic feet Record Group: 99/245

Waldo L. Semon (1898-1999) was a renowned research chemist and eventually Director of Polymer Research at the B.F. Goodrich Company in Akron, Ohio. He obtained over 150 patents for his developments and improvements in the rubber and plastics industry including plasticized PVC known as Keroseal and styrene-butadiene synthetic rubber known as Ameripol. His papers include experiment notebooks, research notes, correspondence, and subject files relating to rubber research.

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Seiberling, Willard P., Papers

Range: 1859 - 1964 Size: 29 cubic feet Record Group: 99/130

Willard Penfield Seiberling (1892-1981) was the son of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company co-founder F. A. Seiberling and his wife, Gertrude Penfield Seiberling. He was the first assistant manager and then manager of the Goodyear Aeronautics Department. He later served as a manager at the Seiberling Tire and Rubber Company and eventually became secretary and director. His papers include personal and business correspondence, drawings, photographs, negatives, blueprints, and legal documents regarding his business activities at both the Goodyear and Seiberling tire and rubber companies.

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Polen, Edna Mae, Papers

Range: 1936 - 2010 Size: 1.0 Record Group: $content.recordGroup

Edna Mae Polen (1917-2010) of Salineville, Ohio was a 1940 graduate of The University of Akron (UA). She worked for many years as Secretary at the B.F. Goodrich Company and Coastal Trucking Co./Coastal Tank Lines, Inc. of Akron. Her papers include booklets, yearbooks, newsletters, report cards, and photographs documenting student life at UA in the 1930s as well as the B.F. Goodrich Company and several local organizations she was involved with. 

Nelson, Daniel, Collection

Range: 1900 - 1941 Size: 9 cubic feet Record Group: $content.recordGroup

Dr. Daniel Nelson is Professor Emeritus of History at The University of Akron who specializes in American business and labor history and has published numerous books on these topics. His collection consists of research materials for his book American Rubber Workers & Organized Labor, 1900-1941 including research notes, oral history interviews, meeting minutes, manuscripts, demographic studies, articles, newspaper clippings, chapter critiques, and correspondence. The collection also includes information regarding the United Rubber Workers (URW) and numerous rubber companies.

McDonald, Peter Papers

Range: 1964 - 2013 Size: 7.0 Record Group:

Peter McDonald (1930-2013) was a tire designer/engineer with The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company and a tire forensics expert who served as a consultant and expert witness on numerous murder trials throughout the United States and Canada.  His papers include correspondence, drawings, patents, news releases, publications, newspaper clippings, photographs, slides, audio/video, and training materials that document his life and work and the trials that he worked on.

House, John D.

Range: 1938 - 1941 Size: 0.1 cubic feet Record Group:

Correspondence and other materials of CIO field representative, principally regarding United Rubber Workers activity at the Gadsden, Alabama, plant of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

Gross, Alan “AirshipAl” Collection

Range: 1922 - 2017 Size: 114 cubic feet Record Group: $content.recordGroup

Alan “AirshipAl” Gross is an airship aficionado and collector of all things airship.  He worked on the ground crew at the Flushing Airport in New York City and helped found two airship companies, Airships International Ltd. and Airship Enterprises Inc.  The collection includes information on various airships important in the history of lighter-than-air flight including the Goodyear, Budweiser, SeaWorld, Shamu, MetLife, Fuji, and Jordache blimps, to name a few.  Materials include press kits, flight manuals, drawings, books, journals, newspaper clippings, photographs and slides, videotapes and films, musical scores, phonograph recordings, inflatables, clothing, and airship toys and collectibles.  View the photographs and slides from the collection here.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Records, Aviation Series

Range: 1900 - 1991 Size: 36 cubic feet Record Group: 99/106

The materials consist of documents (e.g., correspondence, press releases, reports, press clippings), photographs, publications, blueprint drawings, videotapes, and small artifacts primarily from – or created by – the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Public Relations Dept. and maintained in the corporate archives. The records are arranged by the following topics: Airplanes, Airships, Balloons, Missiles/Rockets/Space and General corporate information on aviation.

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Records

Range: 1898 - 1993 Size: 1,000 cubic feet Record Group: 99/106

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was founded in Akron, Ohio in 1898 by F.A. and C.W. Seiberling. The company began by manufacturing bicycle and carriage tires, but soon produced tires for automobiles, trucks, airplanes, tractors, and earth-moving equipment, as well as mechanical goods such as belts, hoses, and conveyors. During the world wars the company manufactured blimps and balloons as well as airplane parts and tires for military vehicles. Goodyear later manufactured weapons for the Cold War and components for the space program. The records include correspondence, annual reports, financial reports, publications, news releases, newspaper clippings, advertisements, scrapbooks, product files, photographs, and films and video that document the history of the company. Topics include aviation, lighter-than-air flight, labor relations, employee activities, products, advertising, plants and plantations, public relations, and racing.

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Goodrich, (B.F.) Company

Range: 1868 - 1990 Size: 500 cubic feet Record Group: 99/132

Board of Director's minutes; annual reports; journals, ledgers, and other accounting records of the parent company, various domestic subsidiaries, and BFGoodrich International; advertising material; publications and news releases; speeches by corporate officials; registrations of patents and trademarks; research center reports and other files; product information; photographs and films.

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General Tire and Rubber Company Records, Public Relations Series

Range: 1915 - 1996 Size: 168 cubic feet Record Group: 99/103


The General Tire and Rubber Company was founded in Akron, Ohio in 1915.  It originally focused on truck and then automobile tires, but later branched into aerospace and defense, entertainment and broadcasting, chemicals/plastics, and industrial products.  Although Continental AG bought General Tire in 1987, it continues to develop, produce, and market tires for automotive applications.  The Public Relations Series consists of company publications, scrapbooks, advertisements, posters, calendars, and banners as well as photographs of foreign and domestic plants and installations, dealerships, and equipment.   It also consists of over a thousand motion picture films, videos, and sound recordings.

General Tire and Rubber Company Records

Range: 1940 - 1973 Size: 155 cubic feet Record Group: 99/103

The General Tire & Rubber Company was founded in Akron, Ohio in 1915 by William O’Neil and Winfred E. Fouse. The company began by making repair materials for tires, but moved on to produce their own brand of tires and eventually became the fifth major tire manufacturer in the United States. Their discovery of oil-extended rubber in 1949 caused a major legal debate with larger tire manufacturers over the patent rights to the use of oil-extended rubber. The bulk of the records relate to the court cases and include court records, exhibits, technical reports, manufacturers literature, and other material, both original and on microfilm.

Foster, Robert J., Papers

Range: 1950s - 1980s Size: 2.0 Record Group: $content.recordGroup

Robert J. “Bob” Foster (1924-2009) of Randolph, Ohio served in the Navy during World War II and worked at Goodyear Aircraft Corporation and then Goodyear Aerospace for 39 years, from 1946 to 1985. He received three patents while working at Goodyear. His papers include correspondence, photographs, and blueprints relating to his life and work. 

Flickinger, Maynard L., Papers

Range: 1924 - 1987 Size: 1 cubic feet Record Group: 99/131

Maynard L. Flickinger (1900-1990) of Barberton, Ohio was an M.I.T. graduate and an airship engineer for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s s Aeronautics Department, the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation, and the Goodyear Aircraft Corporation. His papers predominantly contain photographs and printed materials pertaining to airship design and airship travel, especially the U.S.S. Akron and the U.S.S. Macon

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Firestone, Elizabeth Parke, Papers

Range: 1940 - 1970 Size: 55 cubic feet Record Group: $content.recordGroup

Elizabeth Parke Firestone (1897-1990) was the wife of Harvey S. Firestone, Jr., son of Firestone Tire & Rubber Company founder Harvey S. Firestone, Sr. Her papers include correspondence, speeches, writings, family photographs, newspaper clippings, phonodiscs, and medals and awards. The papers also include information relating to clubs and interests of Elizabeth Parke Firestone and her husband as well as the family's Akron, Ohio residence known as Twin Oaks. 

Endres, Dr. Kathleen L. Collection

Range: 1841 - 2018 Size: 6 Record Group: 99/253

Dr. Kathleen L “Kitty” Endres is a distinguished professor emerita of Communications at The University of Akron. This collection is comprised of files and collected materials assembled and used by Dr. Endres during her career as a professor of Communications and Women’s Studies at The University of Akron.

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D'Ianni, Dr. James D.,Collection of Alfin Rubber Materials

Range: 1945 - 1947 Size: 1 cubic foot Record Group: $content.recordGroup

Dr. James D. D'Ianni (1914-2007) was a noted rubber scientist from Akron, Ohio who worked for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and is known for his contributions to the development of synthetic rubber during World War II. The collection contains materials relating to the development and usage of Alfin synthetic rubber by Dr. D'Ianni and Dr. Avery A Morton of M.I.T. and includes reports, graphs, tables, and correspondence.

Collyer, John L.

Range: 1939 - 1976 Size: 1 cubic foot Record Group: $content.recordGroup

John L. Collyer (1893-1979) was a mechanical engineer and naval architect who served as Vice President at Dunlop Tire & Rubber Company before becoming President of the B.F. Goodrich Company where he contributed to the development and production of synthetic rubber. His papers include newspaper clippings and photographs documenting his life and work. 

Baldwin, Frank B., Papers

Range: 1919 - 1972 Size: 6.2 cubic feet Record Group: 99/134

Frank B. Baldwin was an employee of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company under their flight operations department and later their astronautics and undersea warfare sales department. He also served as a pilot and personal aide to Paul W. Litchfield, president and later CEO and Chairman of the Board of Goodyear. His papers include photograph albums, logs, and subject files from Baldwin’s 34 years at the company, in addition to numerous Goodyear-related film strips, slides, published materials, and artifacts.

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Alderfer, Sterling W., Papers

Range: 1926 - 1970 Size: 0.2 Record Group: $content.recordGroup

Sterling W. Alderfer (1897-1983) was an industrialist and inventor from Akron, Ohio with over 200 patents in the rubber and related industries. He worked for the India Rubber Co. and founded several businesses in Akron including the Andrews-Alderfer Co., the Tel-O-Post Co., the Sterling Alderfer Co., and the Steelastic Co. His papers include diagrams, booklets, journals, and patents that document his life and work.