inventor of vulcanized rubber
Birthplace: New Haven, Conn.
Early failures in business led him to carry on his experiments into finding a way to prevent rubber from melting when hot. He stumbled across the process for vulcanizing rubber, but failed to foresee its potential application to tires. He was impoverished and indebted throughout his life, and sold his patented process, vulcanization, for a fraction of its market value.