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Benjamin Goodrich

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Benjamin Goodrich
Benjamin Franklin Goodrich

(1841-11-04)November 4, 1841
DiedAugust 3, 1888(1888-08-03) (aged 46)
EducationFredonia Academy
Cleveland Medical College
University of Pennsylvania
Known forFounder of Goodrich Corporation
Parent(s)Anson Goodrich
Susannah Dinsmoor Goodrich

Benjamin Franklin Goodrich (November 4, 1841 – August 3, 1888) was an American industrialist in the rubber industry and founder of B.F. Goodrich Company.[1]

Early life

Goodrich was born in the farming town of Ripley, New York on November 4, 1841.[2] He was a son of Anson Goodrich (1792–1847) and Susannah (née Dinsmoor) Goodrich (born 1799). Orphaned at the age of eight, he was raised by his uncle.[3]

He received his M.D. from Cleveland Medical College (now Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine) in 1861, studied surgery at the University of Pennsylvania in 1863 and served as a battlefront surgeon for the Union Army in the Civil War with the rank of Captain. After a few years in a struggling medical practice, he went to work in Pennsylvania's oilfields and became a real estate speculator.[4]


After the war, he reached a licensing agreement with Charles Goodyear and bought the Hudson River Rubber Company in partnership with J.P. Morris in 1869. The company, located in Melrose, New York, failed. The following year he accepted an offer of $13,600 from the citizens of Akron, Ohio to relocate his business there. He founded Goodrich, Tew & Co. in 1870. Goodrich bought out Tew, and in 1880 the company became the B.F. Goodrich Company.[4]

Goodrich was the first in Akron to own a telephone, which was a gift from Alexander Graham Bell in 1877. The telephone connected Goodrich's house on Quaker Street to his factory on Rubber Street.[citation needed]

According to a story, Goodrich had seen a friend's home burn to the ground, with firefighters rendered helpless because their leather hoses had frozen and cracked. Once settled in Akron, Goodrich ordered his company to begin producing cotton-wrapped rubber hose that would resist freezing. A few years later Goodrich started selling garden hoses (allowing bucketless garden watering) and bicycle tires. Still, the company teetered near bankruptcy and went through numerous name changes, its success still uncertain when Goodrich died at the age of 46 in 1888.[citation needed]

The business began booming at B.F. Goodrich Company a few years after Goodrich's death with the company's introduction of a pneumatic tire that could endure the speed and load of the evolving automobile. The radial tire was designed by an advertising employee in his company. Over subsequent decades, Goodrich Company chemists invented plasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in 1926, synthesized rubber in 1937 and built spacesuits for NASA astronauts in the 1960s. Now renamed Goodrich Corporation, the company abandoned the tire business in 1988 and subsequently described itself as a global supplier of systems and services to the aerospace, defense, and homeland security markets. In 2012 the Goodrich Corporation was sold to United Technologies.[5][6]

The brand name Goodrich now appears on tires made by Michelin, which bought the Uniroyal-B. F. Goodrich tire business in 1994.[7]

Personal life

Portrait of his wife, by Ellen Emmet Rand, 1906.
Portrait of his wife, by Ellen Emmet Rand, 1906.

On November 4, 1869, Goodrich was married to Mary Elizabeth Marvin (1841–1907), a daughter of U.S. Representative Richard Pratt Marvin and Isabella (née Newland) Marvin. Her uncle, William Marvin, was a United States federal judge and the 7th Governor of Florida.[8] Together, Mary and Benjamin were the parents of:

Goodrich died on August 3, 1888, in Manitou Springs, Colorado, where he had been in hopes of improving his health.[4] He was buried in at Lake View Cemetery in Jamestown, New York. After his death, his wife hired architect Guy Lowell in 1905 to design a 23-room mansion known as River House in York, Maine.[17] His widow died in April 1907.[18]


Through his daughter Isabella, he was a grandfather of Marvin Breckinridge Patterson, the photojournalist, cinematographer, and philanthropist,[19] who married diplomat Jefferson Patterson.[20]


  1. ^ Goodrich Corporation website "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-30. Retrieved 2012-04-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "MONUMENT TO GOODRICH; Ripley; N.Y., Marks Centenary of Rubber Pioneer". The New York Times. 5 November 1941. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  3. ^ Goodrich Corporation website
  4. ^ a b c "A Prominent Citizen Gone". Akron City Times. 8 August 1888. p. 3. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  5. ^ "UTC To Acquire Goodrich For $18.4 B". Retrieved 2010-10-12.
  6. ^ "United Technologies buying Goodrich in $18.5B deal". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-10-12.
  7. ^ Hicks, Jonathan P. (23 September 1989). "Michelin to Acquire Uniroyal Goodrich". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  8. ^ The National Cyclopædia of American Biography: Being the History of the United States as Illustrated in the Lives of the Founders, Builders, and Defenders of the Republic, and of the Men and Women who are Doing the Work and Moulding the Thought of the Present Time. J. T. White. 1954. p. 33. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  9. ^ a b TIMES, Special to THE NEW YORK (11 July 1932). "C. C. GOODRICH DEAD; RUBBER FIRM OFFICIAL; Director of Akron Concern Which Father Founded and a Maine Legislator". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  10. ^ Times, Special to The New York (14 December 1928). "Mrs. Charles Cross Goodrich". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  11. ^ Revolution, Daughters of the American (1907). Lineage Book - National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Daughters of the American Revolution. p. 313. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  12. ^ TIMES, Special to THE NEW YORK (19 July 1941). "J. C. BRECKINRIDGE, RETIRED LAWYER; Grandson of a. Vice President of U. S., Whose Name He Bore, Dies in Maine Resort". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  13. ^ TIMES, Special to THE NEW YORK (18 May 1950). "D. GOODRICH DIES; LED RUBBER FIRM; Chairman Until Last Month of Concern Founded by Father Fought in Two Wars". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  14. ^ of 1898, Harvard College (1780-) Class (1913). Harvard College Class of 1898 Quindecennial Report. Harvard College. pp. 127–128. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  15. ^ "MRS. BEATRICE PRUYN WED TO D. M. GOODRICH; Bride Sister of Mrs. Cleveland E. Dodge and W. F. Morgan Jr., Markets Commissioner". The New York Times. 19 November 1936. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  16. ^ "LONG BRIDAL PROCESSION.; Many Attendants for Morgan-Pruyn Ceremony To-day". The New York Times. 5 February 1907. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  17. ^ Mattor, Theresa; Teegardeb, Lucie (2009). Designing the Maine Landscape. Down East Books. p. 308. ISBN 978-0-89272-885-5. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  18. ^ "MRS. GOODRICH PASSES AWAY IN NEW YORK". The Akron Beacon Journal. 15 April 1907. p. 3. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  19. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (22 December 2002). "Mary Patterson, Photojournalist and Philanthropist, 97, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Jefferson Patterson, 86; Served as an Ambassador". The New York Times. 14 November 1977. Retrieved 10 March 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 8 November 2020, at 20:35
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