The Leicester Rubber Company was formed in 1906 by John Cecil Burton and his brother Cecil Hubert. Initially dealing with imported cycle tyres and tubing, the Burton brothers soon decided to use external manufacturers to produce tyres for bicycles and prams under the very avian themed trade names of 'Swift' and 'Swan' - though still overseen by the Leicester Rubber Company. These trades names were in existence for a short time until the Company's patriotic 'John Bull' trade mark came into force in 1908.
It was in 1915 that the Rubber Company started to manufacture its own bicycle and pram tyres at its Evington Valley Road site in Leicester; gearing up production in 1928 to mass produce car and motorcycle tyres. The company's success led to a further name change in 1934 when the Leicester Rubber Company became the John Bull Rubber Company Ltd.
For the following two decades, the John Bull Rubber Company continued to manufacture tyres for cars, motorcycles, bicycles, prams and also tyre repair kits that were either to be found on numerous garage shelves, or if the driver was very organised (unlike the poor unfortunate below) - in the glove compartment.
|Great 1950s image - this could almost be my parents!|
It was in 1955 that John Bull became merged with another company, Metalastick, and thus the John Bull company name became relegated to automotive history.