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Benjamin F. Goodrich

AKA Benjamin Franklin Goodrich

Born: 4-Nov-1841
Birthplace: Ripley, NY
Died: 3-Aug-1888
Location of death: Akron, OH
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Lake View Cemetery, Jamestown, NY

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business, Doctor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of Goodrich Corporation

Military service: US Army (Ninth New York Calvary, Civil War)

Benjamin Franklin Goodrich was born in a small farming town, orphaned at the age of eight, and raised thereafter by his uncle. He studied at Cleveland Medical College (now Case Western), and served as a battlefront surgeon for the Union Army in the Civil War. After a few years of a struggling medical practice, he went to work in Pennsylvania's oilfields, then became a real estate speculator. In 1869 he used most of his real estate profits to purchase the Hudson River Rubber Company, a small business in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. The following year Goodrich accepted an offer of $13,600 from the citizens of Akron, Ohio, to relocate his business there.

According to legend, Goodrich had seen a friend's home burn to the ground, with firefighters rendered helpless because their leather hoses had frozen and cracked. So once settled in Akron, his company began producing cotton-wrapped rubber hose, impervious to freezing. A few years later Goodrich started selling garden hoses (allowing bucket-less garden watering) and bicycle tires. Still, the company teetered near bankruptcy and went through numerous name changes, and its success was still uncertain when Goodrich died at the age of 46, in 1888.

Business began booming at BF Goodrich Company a few years after his death, when the company introduced a pneumatic tire that could bear the speeds and loads of the emerging automobile market. Over subsequent decades, Goodrich company chemists invented plasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in 1926, synthesized rubber in 1937, and built early space suits for NASA astronauts in the 1960s. Now renamed Goodrich Corporation, the company abandoned the tire business in 1988, and describes itself as "a global supplier of systems and services to the aerospace, defense and homeland security markets". The brand name Goodrich now appears on tires made by Michelin.

Father: Anson Goodrich (b. 15-Apr-1792, d. 17-Jun-1847)
Mother: Susannah Dinsmoor Goodrich (b. 12-Jan-1799, m. Apr-1816)
Wife: Mary Elizabeth Marvin Goodrich (b. 3-Jul-1841, m. 4-Nov-1869)
Son: Charles Cross Goodrich (Goodrich chemist, b. 3-Aug-1871, d. 1932)
Son: Marvin Goodrich (b. 1872, d. infancy)
Daughter: Isabella Goodrich Breckinridge (b. 8-Feb-1874, married son of John C. Breckinridge, d. 1972)
Son: Daniel Marvin Goodrich (Goodrich executive, b. 22-Jun-1876, d. 1950)

    Medical School: MD, Case Western Reserve University (1860)
    Scholar: Surgery, University of Pennsylvania (1863)

    Goodrich Founder & CEO (1870-88)


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