On this day in 1923, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, began balloon-tire production. This tire type has an inner tube inside the tire that is inflated with air. Balloon tires provided better handling and a smoother ride. However, with Firestone’s innovation also came the era of the flat tire. At the time, Firestone had become the country’s largest producer of automobile tires thanks to a contract to supply rubber for the Ford Model T.