Fisk Tire Company

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Fisk Tire Company

Items in the Fisk Tire Company Collection

Main mill building of the Fisk Tire Company
This five-story building was the main production facility of the tire company. Founded in 1896, as one building and known as the Spalding & Pepper Rubber Company, it grew to be one of the nation's largest tire making facilities.

Management of Fisk Tire Company
The managers of the Fisk Tire Company are seated at a table with their secretary to the right. Meetings were held in the administration building which faced Grove Street in Chicopee Falls. On the wall to the left is a framed, enlarged photograph of…

Workers cutting and weighing processed rubber
Two workers with large knives are cutting bundled sheets of rubber. On the left the worker is carefully looking at his scale in order to determine the weight of his cut.

Rolls of cord stacked in a storage area
Tire cord wound on spools is piled in a bin. This cord made from a specially designed fabric was used in the manufacture of tires. In the 1920's three different factories were making tire cord for the Fisk Tire Company.

Cutting tire cord on a table
A worker is cutting a length of cord at an angle or on the bias. Tire cord had to be cut at a 45 degree angle because the fabric threads were woven at this angle. This angle weave of the cord proved to be more durable than a square weave.

Worker inspecting tire cord in the cord room
A worker carefully looks at tire cord stretched out on the table. This cotton fabric constituted twenty five percent of every cord tire built by the Fisk Tire Company. The durability of a Fisk tire depended on the careful handling of the fabric by…

Operating a tire-building machine
A worker operates a machine which winds cord around the rim of a metal core. For cord tires, the circumference of the core was smaller than the inside of the tire because these tires expanded when they were put into the vulcanizing machines.

Working on a tire at a finishing stand
Workers are applying the special rubber stripe which will be the sidewall of the cord tire. This sidewall rubber was made by a special machine at the plant. When the sidewalls were built up, the tires were now ready to be shipped to the vulcanizing…

Tires ready for the vulcanizers in the vulcanizing room
Cord tires awaiting vulcanization are dangling from metal hooks attached to pulleys. These pulleys ran on an overhead circular track. Because of this round shape, workers at the Fisk Tire Company referred to this section of the vulcanizing room as…

Workers placing tires onto a conveyer belt
Two workers on each side of a conveyor belt are removing unfinished tires from hooks attached to an overhead track. Each unfinished tire was then placed on the conveyor belt where it traveled to the mold room.

Safety bulletin describing a recent accident at the Chicopee plant of the Fisk Tire Company
Inside the safety bulletin case, management of the plant has placed a poster which shows and describes how a worker injured his finger while placing his hand on a tire hanging from the overhead track; the worker next to him pushed a tire which…

Placing the unvulcanized tire in the mold
A group of workers standing on each side of a conveyer lower the top half of a mold over an unfinished tire which has been placed by other workers into a bottom mold. Molds which were made of metal resembled halves of a giant hollowed out donut.

Removing the harness attached to the upper half of the mold
Two workers standing on opposite sides of the conveyer remove the harness which was used to lower the upper mold onto a tire encased by a bottom mold. Removal of the harness was the final procedure before a tire was placed for curing into the…

Generators from the Farrel Foundry and Machine Company
Workers near the conveyer wait for tires in molds which are destined for the vulcanizers on their right. As these molds arrive, these workers will place one mold on top of another until they fill the vulcanizer.

Tires arriving by conveyer near the vulcanizers
Workers near the conveyer wait for tires in molds which are destined for the vulcanizers on their right. As these molds arrive, these workers will place one mold on top of another until they fill the vulcanizer.

Filling the vulcanizer with the molds
A worker presses his hand on a stack of molds while he waits for the cover to be lowered onto the vulcanizer. When the cover is secure, heat and steam will be piped into the vulcanizer, causing the rubber to harden and expand against the molds. This…

Tire with a partially fitted inner tube
A tire with a visible inner tube leans against a stack of nearby tires. The invention of the pneumatic tire, i.e., a vulcanized tire with an inflatable inner tube gave passengers in automobiles a smooth, comfortable ride. By the 1920s, the Fisk Tire…

Tire inspection before wrapping
Two workers in the shipping department are inspecting finished tires which they are holding upright on a table. Nearby on wooden pallets, tires of various tread design are stacked and bundled.

Finished tires on the wrapping machine
Four wrapped tires are sitting atop the wrapping machine. Because Fisk Tire Company had retail stores in forty states, tires were wrapped before they were shipped to these stores. The wrapping prevented dust from collecting on the tires and preserved…

Wrapping tires for delivery to customers
Two employees are working on a machine which wraps finished tires. To their left a stack of tires is waiting to be wrapped. On the right Fisk non-skid tires are wrapped and piled neatly on a pallet.

Private emergency hospital at the Chicopee Falls plant
Inside the emergency hospital at the plant, there are counters with medical supplies against the back wall. Two sinks stand on each side of these counters. The room also contains a portable hospital bed and dispensary table and chair.

Doctor and nurse attending to a worker at the emergency hospital
The company doctor is treating a hand injury of an employee while the nurse assists him. The management of the Fisk Tire Company were proud that their company had an emergency hospital staffed by a full-time doctor and nurse.

Safety bulletin at the Fisk Tire Company warning about infections
The safety bulletin in the display case has the following slogan on top: Safety saves sickness, suffering, sadness. On the bottom, it shows a series of health cartoons about the dangers of spreading infection and warns, "Don't spit!" Just several…

Inspecting tires which are ready for shipment
Two workers from the shipping department of the Fisk Tire Company inspect tires before they are put into the warehouse storage area. On the right, their supervisor is inspecting a stack of finished tires ready for storage. In the 1920s, this…

Trucks parked at the loading dock of the shipping department
Ten trucks parked at the loading dock are getting ready to make shipments of finished tires. These tires will be delivered to dealers and the 130 branch stores operated by the Fisk Tire Company. The shipping department was always very busy in the…