THE HISTORY OF DUNLOP®

From the pneumatic tire to Purofort

Dunlop's history in a nutshell

Years of tradition precede the current Dunlop boot. Our history goes back to 1888, when a Scottish veterinarian named John Boyd Dunlop had a simple idea that changed the world.

Dunlop history

1888: JOHN BOYD DUNLOP INVENTS THE PNEUMATIC TYRE

John Boyd Dunlop had a simple idea that changed the world. While he was watching his son ride on a tricycle one day, he noticed how uncomfortable he was, riding over stones and uneven terrain with hard, rubber tires. He covered the wheels in thin, rubber sheets, glued them together and made them springy by pumping them up with a football pump. And there it was, the pneumatic tire providing his son lots of comfort riding his bike. In 1888, John applied for a patent for the pneumatic rubber tire and in 1889 he opened his first tire factory in Dublin, Ireland.

1896: DUNLOP® IS REGISTERED AS A TRADEMARK


1904: HEVEA IS FOUNDED: PRODUCTION OF RUBBER PRODUCTS

Segments

1910: INTRODUCTION OF THE DUNLOP GOLF BALL

 

1917: INTRODUCTION OF THE DUNLOP TENNIS RACKET

 

1927: INTRODUCTION OF THE DUNLOP BOOT

In 1927, Dunlop teamed up with Liverpool Rubber Co Ltd and expanded his production with protective footwear. And hence the Dunlop boot was born. Offering comfort, protection and durability.


1929: INTRODUCTION OF THE ‘GREEN FLASH’ DUNLOP TENNIS SHOES, WORN BY FRED PERRY

Portugal location

1950: START OF PRODUCTION OF PVC BOOTS IN PORTUGAL


1980: HEVEA INTRODUCES PUROFORT® BOOTS

In 1980, Hevea invented Purofort, a unique material with millions of evenly distributed air pockets, making it extremely lightweight and thermally insulated. The cross-linked structure of the material provides flexibility and strength. Almost 40 years later, there’s still no other work boot that is as lightweight and strong as a Purofort boot, thanks to the special recipe that has been kept secret to this day.

1995: HEVEA BUYS PORTUGUESE BOOTS MANUFACTURER PLANETO PLASTICOS

USA location

1996: HEVEA BUYS DUNLOP BOOTS

This acquisition gave Hevea access to the world market with the famous Dunlop brand. 2010: Start of sector approach: boots are optimized for specific sectors.
When it comes to protective footwear, a farmer has complete different needs than a constructor or a miner. That’s why in 2010, Dunlop decided to optimize its range of boots for specific sectors, segmenting between Agriculture, Fishery, Industry, the Food processing industry and Oil, Gas and Mining. For every foot a perfect boot.

2016: DUNLOP ACQUIRES ONGUARD IN THE USA

In May 2016, Dunlop took an important step in its growth strategy with the acquisition of ONGUARD Industries from Ansell Corporation. ONGUARD is a leading manufacturer of protective boots in the USA with over 75 years of experience and an extensive product range, offering a strong platform for growth in North America and beyond.