Trivia

Hard

What Color Were Early Automobile Tires?

White
Green
Navy Blue
Orange
An early advertisement featuring the Michelin Man.
H. L. Roowy (Artist)/Michelin

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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