The History of Akron “The Rubber City”

rubber factory in Akron Ohio

The ‘rubber city’ and ‘inventions city’ are some epithets applied to Akron, OH. Located in one of the fifty states in America, Ohio,it is the fifth largest city there with many landmarks in Akron. Greater Akron has a population over 700,000.  Simon Perkins and Paul Williams founded Akron in 1825. The name Akron means ‘summit’ in Greek. The location represents the highest elevation of the Ohio and Erie Canal. The canal initially opened in 1827, connecting Akron with Cleveland. Akron became a village in 1836, a county seat in 1842 and a city in 1865.

Rubber, Goodyear Tire, and Corporations

Rubber and tire manufacture have been the trademarks of Akron for very long. Airship development also took place here. In the present days, manufacturing and education, healthcare and biomedical research are some pursuits. Gojo Industries and FirstEnergy, Huntington Bank and Charter Spectrum are some leading corporations today.

Kramer said the company’s new Global Headquarters represents many positive attributes of both Goodyear and its hometown.

“It represents our commitment to Akron and northeast Ohio…not just to the Akron of old, but to a revitalized, and progressive Akron that continues to evolve and prosper in groundbreaking ways.  It represents genuine collaboration.  Our new home was made possible by a true partnership between the public and private sectors and serves as a model for other cities to follow,” he said. – Goodyear Website

Rubber Capital Of The World

Between 1850 and 1890, and later, Akron indeed became the tire capital of the world with the four major tire companies based there. Goodrich Corporation (1869), Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (1898), Firestone Tire and Rubber Company (1900) and General Tire (1915) gave birth to the American trucking industry. Ample jobs and constructions of low-cost housing kept the city busy forever.

Diversity Through The Centuries

The University of Akron School of Law set up the K–12 system in 1847. Marcus Garvey originated the Universal Negro Improvement Association in this city. Riots took place in 1900, a rubber strike in 1936, and Wooster Avenue riots happened in 1968. Around 1917, the Akron Experiment involved 10,000 girls testing iodized salt as prevention of goiter.

The University of Akron School of Law is the law school at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, USA. Offering both the J.D. and LL.M. degrees, it was founded in 1921 as the Akron School of Law and merged with the University of Akron in 1959, becoming fully accredited by the American Bar Association in 1961. – Wikipedia

Inventions Capital In The 2000’s

With time, the rubber workers reduced by a half but research in polymers gained international attention. Polymer Valley today has as many as 400 companies working with polymer, and about a hundred are based in Akron. The University of Akron provides the research focus that includes the Goodyear Polymer Center, National Polymer Innovation Center and College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.

Contributions to the Information Age

According to the Newsweek magazine listing, Akron was placed fifth among ten American high-tech centers in 2001.  The City of Invention was the Akron designation in 2018 with the All-America City Award for the third time.

Cleaning Up The Environmental Mess

As a result of excessive industrial activity, the adverse effects were naturally felt upon the surrounding. Air and soil pollution had to be dealt with. From the 1930’s to the 1960’s, toxic PCB-laden fumes corrupted the air from an electrical transformer deconstruction operation. Cleaning up continued from 1987 to 2000.

During Clean Up Akron Month, volunteers worked throughout the month of April to create a more vibrant community by picking up trash and taking on beautification projects in parks, vacant lots, school campuses, and in the streets of their own neighborhoods.

In total, 3,509 volunteers took time to help make Akron a cleaner and healthier place to live for all this April. These volunteers cleaned up a total of 17.77 tons of trash and 63 tires from 152 sites, including 18 schools.

The annual Summit Lake Clean Up brought out 282 volunteers to clean the frequently littered and illegally-dumped at area of Summit Lake. These volunteers were able to collect 3.47 tons of trash and 20 tires in only three hours. – keepakronbeautiful.org

General Simon Perkins’ descendants

Established on the 79 acres of land gifted by the children of the founder, Perkins Woods Park was set up in 1900. For educational purposes, the Akron Museum of Natural History opened in 1950 and the Akron Children’s Zoo in 1953.

The physical address for Perkins Woods Park is 730 Perkins Park Drive, although the park is also accessible from Diagonal Road, Euclid Avenue, and Edgewood Avenue. Located in Akron’s 3rd ward, Perkins Woods is situated on approximately 56.4 acres, and lies to the north of Euclid Avenue. Perkins Woods is divided by the lands of the Akron Zoological Park and the Ed Davis Community Center. FACILITY(s): Softball Field: 2 Football Field: 1 Basketball Court: 3 Tennis Court: 6 Play Area: 2 Community Center; Gymnasium Picnic Area Open Space Natural Area Swimming Pool – ohranger.com

An Unlucky Easter Sunday

On the 1913 Easter Sunday, a mighty rainstorm brought 10 inches of rain upon Akron. The past winter had delivered severe snowfall. The Ohio and Erie Canal were destroyed in the massive flood, and canal transport in Akron ended.