What Color Were Early Automobile Tires?

Geek Trivia

What Color Were Early Automobile Tires?

Which Sci-Fi Actor Appeared In The Show That Inspired Him To Pursue Acting?

An early advertisement featuring the Michelin Man
Public Domain

Answer: White

Although it would be easy to assume that the deep black color of modern tires was simply the color that tires have always been, the earliest tires were completely opposite in color. Before the introduction of carbon black as a preservative and strengthener in the early 20th century, tire rubber was a semi-translucent white color that looked quite similar to a gum rubber eraser.

This is also why the Michelin Man, the iconic mascot of the Michelin tire company—seen here in one of his earliest iterations—was depicted in white, a color as far removed from the inky black of modern tires as you can get.

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