Why are tires black?

The Color of Tires

Why tires are black

The first car tires were white! One tire manufacturer wanted his tires to look more distinguished than other tires. He asked the Peekskill Chemical Company in Peekskill, New York, to see what they could do to make a tire that was a silver gray color.

Joseph Binney had founded the Peekskill Chemical Company in 1864 and specialized in producing black and red colors and paints. The red he created was used on barns all across the American countryside and was made with the same red iron oxide that the cavemen had used to make their red paint.

The Peekskill chemists succeeded in creating a darker color for the tire manufacturer. More importantly, they discovered that by adding carbon black as an ingredient to the rubber they not only got a darker tire, but one that lasted four to five times longer than white ones!

And from there you know how this story ends, except for one little detail. The Peekskill Chemical Company later became known as Binney & Smith, the makers of Crayola Crayons!

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