John Boyd Dunlop was born on a farm in Dreghorn, North Ayrshire, and studied to be a veterinary surgeon at the Dick Vet, University of Edinburgh.
Dunlop developed pneumatic tyres for his son’s tricycle and soon had them made commercially in Scotland. A cyclist using his tyres began to win all races and drew the attention of Harvey Du Cros. He sold his rights to the pneumatic tyres to a company he formed with the president of the Irish Cyclists’ Association, Harvey Du Cros, for a small cash sum and a small shareholding in their pneumatic tyre business. Dunlop withdrew in 1896.
The company that bore his name, Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company, was not incorporated until later using the name well-known to the public but it was Du Cros’s creation.