For 166 years Hutchinson has been innovating for mobility on land, in the air and on the sea. From rubber to thermoplastic by way of enhanced materials, Hutchinson reinvents itself to provide the best answers for its customers’ needs and new modes of mobility. But how was Hutchinson born? Where did the idea of using rubbing to manufacture automotive equipment come from? Discover the portrait of its founder Hiram Hutchinson on the 209th anniversary of his birth.
Who was Hiram Hutchinson?
Hiram Hutchinson (November 10, 1810 – 1869) was an American businessman who was convinced of the potential of rubber. Thanks to the patent for “improvements made to the manufacturing of boots, shoes, clogs and footwear” transferred by Charles Goodyear in 1853, Hiram left the United States to come to France and take up an ambitious challenge: to conquer the European market in the rubber industry.
The first Hutchinson factory in Châlette-sur-Loing (1853 – 1867)
Hiram set up business in a former royal paper mill dating from the 17th century in a place called “Langlée” in Châlette-sur-Loing, a small town 100 kilometers south of Paris. He chose France probably because the rubber industry was still relatively undeveloped there and therefore presented good prospects. It was here that he began the intensive manufacturing of boots under the “A l’aigle” brand name. These highly innovative rubber boots were totally waterproof. By 1854, 5000 pairs of boots were being manufactured every day! The Hutchinson factory was launched. Hiram then set out to conquer Europe and opened a factory in Mannheim (Germany) in 1860 to cover the Central European markets.
Expansion of activities (1867)
In 1867, Hiram’s son Alcander took charge of the company two years before the death of his father, who returned to live in the United States. He was to give the company a new impetus by diversifying its activities to include industrial rubber (extruded tubes, canvas hoses, drive belts, etc.).
See a video of the Hutchinson saga from 1853 to the present day!