#ThrowbackThursday: Firestone Tire Ash Tray

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

In an archive, you never know what you will find in one. Two words you will never hear in the same sentence is “fire” and “archive”. The two do not jive together. Located in the John Payne collection is a Firestone Tire ashtray.

Top shot of a Firestone ashtray and box, n.d. (Photograph Credit: James Wethington)

The business begun under the leadership of their namesake, Harvey Firestone. Firestone Tire started in 1896 in Chicago until they moved the business to Akron, Ohio in 1900. They supplied tires for buggies, wagons, and other vehicles. (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2017). Firestone became the first global and American tire business for automobiles. Firestone became the first original supplier for Ford Motor Company (Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, 2017).

Overhead shot of a Firestone ashtray, n.d. (Photograph Credit: James Wethington)

In Firestone’s time, he stood up and promoted innovative in business and commercial practices. For instance, he “… promoted the use of trucks for hauling freight and lobbied for the construction of vast highway systems. In protest over the British-held monopoly over the production of raw rubber in Southeast Asia, he established his own large rubber plantations in Liberia” (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2017). The next time you are on the road driving and you see car tires or a truck driver, remember Harvey Firestone.


Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (2017). Harvey S. Firestone. Retrieved May 18, 2017, from

Firestone Tire and Rubber Company (2017). Retrieved from