January 16, 1853 – Andre Michelin is born

The original Michelin Man was born in Paris on this day in 1853. Andre Michelin took over his grandfather’s farm and agricultural equipment business in 1886. In 1889, when bicycling was become a popular hobby and form of transportation a cyclist approached the Michelin company seeking help repairing his inflatable bicycle tire. The pneumatic bike tire was invented the year prior by John Dunlop, but after being presented with the tire trouble, Andre, along with his brother Edouard, worked to develop improvements to the design that would reduce the chances of going flat and easing repairs in general. In 1891, two years after founding the Michelin Tire Company, the brothers received a patent for the detachable tire. The Michelin company would go on to patent the radial tire, first developed on a Citreon and patented in 1946. Portrait of Andre MichelinAn 1898 poster by O’Galop, creator of the Michelin Man.

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