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The Pneumatic Tire for the Horseless Carriage.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The Pneumatic Tire for the Horseless Carriage.

The New York Times
March 18, 1900

From The Engineering Magazine.

The most perfect spring we can have is air under pressure, and a pneumatic tire is the best way yet known of putting that spring into use.  Its use means a deformable envelope, which must be well and strongly made, capable of withstanding not only repeated deformation at high speeds, but under the worst possible conditions as to wear and tear by the cutting and abrading irregularities which affect the worst of the deformation under an insistent load.  The envelope, moreover, must be easily detached and replaced, and capable of withstanding high tangential tensile stresses as well as the continuous stress due to an internal pressure of fifty to eighty pounds per square inch.  It does not appear to be recognized that, even with rubber, there is a limit to velocity of transmission of impact, and therefore a limit to the velocity of impact under which rubber will bend or extend and will not break.  The higher the speed, therefore, the greater the effect of road abrasion and the more frequent the conversion of an abrading stone into a cutting stone.  The past year has probably seen the limit of endurance approached by the distinctive co-action of high speed and heavy weight.

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