Perhaps it's fitting that the first issue of Rubber & Plastics News launched just in time to report the opening of a new tire plant. The industry, after all, was a dynamic one, evolving and growing with new technologies, investments and discoveries. And as "The Rubber Industry's Fortnightly Newspaper," the publication was committed to covering it all and keeping industry professionals informed.
Sure, it may have had the wrong date on the cover—August 16, 1961, rather than 1971—but that didn't take away from the news that was packed on to every page of the brand new publication, proving that a subscription was worth the investment.
In fact, a subscription form was available on page 11, offering one year of Rubber & Plastics News for $4, two years for $8 or three years for $12.
You can still subscribe to Rubber News, by the way. We offer digital packages now, proof of how dynamic the industry really is and how much we're changing with it.
1. New tires
It had been half a century since Louisville, Ky., saw a new tire plant open in the city limits, but in July 1971, that changed.
International Rubber Inc. opened its tire manufacturing facility several days before Rubber & Plastics News launched its inaugural issue. The company was set to make radial tires in a compact plant for Sonic Distributors Inc., a private buying group in Southfield, Mich.
The first tire out of the mold at the new facility, which was "brought to fruition" by George R. Edwards, was described as "a typical wire radial tread design with five 'zig-zag' ribs and horizontal shoulder grooves.
"In addition to the all-steel belt," RPN wrote, "the tire has three plies of rayon fabric in the larger sizes and two in the smaller sizes."