Few inventions have more profoundly affected society than the pneumatic or air-inflated tire-which not only changed the way people traveled, but even today influences where and how we live. To commemorate this important event Art mint has produced this unusual coin with a real rubber tire! A world premiere in coin industry! This revolutionary coin is not only a commemoration of a huge industrial success. It is also an artistic challenge that combines innovative technology (unique edge shape), modern design and a material used for the first time in a coin: real rubber.
The obverse of the coin shows intricate wheel spokes and a commemorative caption. On the reverse side, you will find Her Majesty, Queen Elisabeth II, the face value and date. Mounted on the rim is an actual rubber tire, which makes the coin look like a lovely miniature of an actual motor wheel and a lovely real rubber tire!
The first practical pneumatic tire was made in 1888 by John Boyd Dunlop of Belfast, Ireland, as an effort to alleviate the headaches of his young son while riding his tricycle on bumpy pavements. Before 1888 railways offered the only means of long-distance travel by land, and the horse furnished most day-to-day transportation. People seldom left their towns or farms because travel was difficult even for short distances. Vacation travel was a luxury enjoyed only by the rich and leisured. It simply wasn’t an option for most working people.
The pneumatic tire – first by popularizing the bicycle, and then the automobile – widened the horizons of average people and altered their way of life. Ultimately, society itself was changed. For the first time, routes were adequately mapped and distances plotted between places which previously held little relevance for a less mobile population. With widespread use of the automobile came the need for improved roads and sturdier bridges, which created employment for many. Meanwhile, new service industries sprang up around the automobile and tourism. Road signs went up and many cities and towns began to rely on the money brought in by visiting motorists.
Today, more than 400 million pneumatic tires are produced annually worldwide, along with nearly 47 million new motor vehicles to consume them-and the world’s vehicle population is growing at the rate of approximately 1.6 percent. Pneumatic tires, over the past century’, have grown so numerous and impervious to aging their eventual disposal has become a problem of serious proportions in all the industrialized countries. Taking this all into account, one cannot help but wonder how the pneumatic’s two fathers — Robert W. Thomson and John Boyd Dunlop — might regard the results of their mutual invention.