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O.C. Barber’s Short Lived Rubber Company

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Early B.F. Goodrich plant that may be part of Diamond Rubber

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NOTE: Since libraries are closed some of my history articles may be short since research opportunities are nonexistent.

In March of 1894 O.C. Barber decided to use the abandoned Diamond Match Company facility in Akron for his new rubber products factory. The factory sat adjacent to the Ohio & Erie Canal on Falor Street.

There is a debate whether the factory was originally named Sherbondy Rubber Company, but the Akron city directory does not show a factory by that name in 1894 or any other time. It was The Diamond Rubber Company listed for that date.

Still a booklet from 1918 called, “The Growth of an Ideal, Embracing the History of the Goodrich Company, and the Economy of Factory and Branch Organization and Operation, by the B.F. Goodrich Company states, “The removal of the Diamond Match Company to Barberton left vacant the buildings occupied in Akron, and in 1894, Mr. Ohio C. Barber, then President of the Diamond Match Company, with his associates incorporated the Sherbondy Rubber Company, whose home was to be the discarded plant of the match company.”

In 1896 Mr. Barber took a more active interest in the company and the name was changed to the Diamond Rubber Company. According to the 1894 Akron City Directory’s Incorporated Companies section, the Diamond Rubber Company first appeared at the Falor location previously occupied by the Diamond Match Company, with G. F. Sherbondy serving as Vice-President, and Walter Sherbondy serving as Superintendent. G. F. Sherbondy was replaced by J. K. Robinson as Vice-President of Diamond Rubber Company in 1896.

Walter Sherbondy was granted U.S. patent 499,600 in 1893 for his design of a self-healing pneumatic tire. In 1898, Harvard-trained chemist Arthur H. Marks was hired by Diamond Rubber. Marks invented a process to recycle old rubber. In 1900, Diamond constructed a new plant to utilize this patent in the recycling of old rubber.

In 1904, Diamond Rubber and B.F. Goodrich entered a rubber recycling joint venture, incorporated as the Alkali Rubber Company, and a new plant was constructed adjacent to the existing Diamond and B.F. Goodrich plants in Akron. In March of 1912, the Diamond Rubber Company was bought out by and merged with the B.F. Goodrich Company. The Diamond brand name and product line were retained, and a subsidiary, Diamond Rubber Company was created for the marketing and manufacturing of the tires.

Even though O.C. did not own The Diamond Rubber Company at the time of the ads (below) the name continued for promotional and manufacturing of tires

1909 Diamond Banner Ad

Russell Harp Tires of Wadsworth sold Diamond tires.

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Micheala Johanson
Micheala Johanson
I've worked at several occupations throughout my life including journalist, photographer and chef/owner of Micheala's Cafe. Local history is one of my first loves. I sit on the board of the Wadsworth Area Historical Society and a member of the River Styx Historical Society. Being a resident of Barberton for the past fifteen years I have become interested in Barberton area history as well.

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