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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/2166
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1901-1965
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 5.8 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Dunlop Rubber Company Ltd


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Dunlop Rubber Company takes its name from John Boyd Dunlop, the first person to put the pneumatic principle into everyday use by making an air filled tube tyre for bicycles. However, he was only involved with the company from 1889 to 1894, when he joined a rival firm, Tubeless (Fleuss) Pneumatic Tyre Company.

The original company was the Pneumatic Tyre and Booth's Cycle Agency Ltd, founded in 1888 in Dublin. The name Dunlop Rubber Company was first used in 1889 for a private company created to serve as one of the manufacturing units for the founder company. This founder company changed its name several times: in 1893 to the Pneumatic Tyre Company Limited: in 1896 to the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company Limited and in 1913 to the Parent Tyre Company Limited. In 1931 the founder company went into liquidation.

In the meantime, Harvey Du Cros (who had helped to form the Pneumatic Tyre and Booth's Cycle Agency Ltd.) was providing finance to Byrne Bros., a Birmingham business engaged in the production of general rubber goods. In 1896 Byrne Bros. underwent flotation of the stock market as the Rubber Tyre Manufacturing Company based at Para Mill with the intention of building a new factory, Manor Mills, alongside it. Du Cros purchased the Manor Mills and the Rubber Tyre Manufacturing Company in 1900 and 1901 respectively, and the two companies were amalgamated to form the Dunlop Rubber Company Limited. This company purchased the founder company in 1912.

In subsequent years Dunlop expanded into a vast multinational organisation. By 1946 there were 90,000 shareholders and 70,000 employees with factories in many different countries, sales outlets in nearly every country, and rubber plantations in Southeast Asia (from 1910). Apart from merely producing tyres, the Dunlop Rubber Company Limited made cycle rims and motor car wheels from 1906 and in 1914 developed a process of spinning and doubling cotton for a new tyre fabric. A collapse in trade in 1922 after the post World War I boom led to financial and administrative reorganisation, but the inter war period also saw the development of Latex foam cushioning (sold by the subsidiary, Dunlopillo) and expansion by way of new factories in South Africa and India.

After World War II (during which Dunlop played a major part as suppliers of tyres and rubber goods to the allied forces). Dunlop expanded further to produce sports goods, sponge rubber, precision bearings and adhesives. Dunlop Holdings Limited (encompassing the whole company) was bought by BTR plc in 1985.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Dunlop Rubber Company, 1901-1965, consisting of a complete set of reports and balance sheets from all the Dunlop national companies and subsidiaries. The reports consist of both printed (for national companies) and typescript (for subsidiaries) financial reports on a yearly basis, predominantly from January to December. These were reports presented to the Board of Directors which controlled Dunlop Rubber Company Limited. They contain audited balance sheets, profit and loss statements and notes on the accounts. However, the extent of detail varies from company to company.

Also printed painting advertising Dunlop (195-) (ACC/2166/108) .

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Chronological run of reports and balance sheets.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright rests with the depositor

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received in 1985

Allied Materials

Related material:

National Motor Museum: file relating to provision of tyres for Bluebird land speed efforts (1958-1984) (reference DUNLOP).
Manchester Archives and Local Studies: papers (1930-1956) (reference M536).

Publication note:

P F Jennings: "Dunlopera: The Works and Workings of the Dunlop Rubber Company" (1961) G Jones: "The Multinational Expansion of Dunlop, 1890-1939" (1986) R H A Storrs: "Dunlop in War and Peace" (1946) A P Du Cros: "Wheels of Fortune: a Salute to Pioneers" (1938)

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
July to October 2009

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