In 1965 when I developed an interest in recorded music I discovered that I could not afford to buy more than a few records a year so I came up with a plan. I approached Dolphin Discs based on Upper Stephen Street and suggested that I attended a nearby school and I could guarantee that every month I could obtain an order for twenty singles providing there was a discount. They did not believe me but offered a 30% discount if any order was greater than twenty. By the end of the year I had signed up more than 100 students and teachers. The scheme was so successful that by the time I left school I was also selling record players. Many years later I operated my own Hi-Fi and record shop.
John Boyd Dunlop was a veterinary surgeon. He trained at the Clyde Street Veterinary College and set up his own practice, moving to Downpatrick in Northern Ireland in 1867 where he practiced with his brother James. The business later moved to Belfast in the 1880s. In 1871 he married Margaret Stevenson (1840-1929) of Ballymena, Co. Antrim.
In 1887 Dunlop began developing what was to become the first practical pneumatic tyre for his son’s tricycle. On 7 December 1888 he was granted a patent. However, unknown to Dunlop, Robert William Thomson, another Scot, had already patented a pneumatic (inflatable) tyre in France in 1846 and the USA in 1847. Following discovery of this in 1890 and in order to capitalise on the product William Harvey Du Cros, president of the Irish Cyclists’ Association, and Dunlop who had already set up a company together, now created a company called the Pneumatic Tyre and Booth’s Cycle Agency in Dublin. Dunlop retired in 1895 and in the following year Du Cros sold the business to financier Terah Hooley. Du Cros remained in the business but Dunlop had no further connection with it having made very little financially from the product. His name and image, however, are still used by various related companies today. His own account of The history of the pneumatic tyre was published in 1924.
John Boyd Dunlop died on 23 October 1921 at ‘Leighton’, Ailesbury Road, aged 81, and is buried at Deansgrange cemetery, Dublin,