Nancy’s UK Tour Journal: Pneumatic Tyres

Inventing pneumatic tyres


Nancy-1Bonjour! It’s Nancy here – from the soon-to-be world famous pop group Nancy and the Meerkats!

After our first record “Put Your Paws Up” became a massive hit, we’re off on a huge tour of the UK!

We haven’t quite made it to stadium status yet – some of the venues are more Weeny than Wembley – but I’m going to be letting you know what’s been going on each day in my journal for Fun Kids!

We’re running a bit late for tonight’s gig! We were stuck in the van for hours earlier! The traffic was terrible and then things got even worse when we got a flat tyre!

It made a terrifying sound! I thought it was that tatty old tabby Kitty Perry playing tricks on us!

Luckily there was a spare in the back and it was all paws to the pump to get it on and get it inflated properly before we could be on our way again!

It’s kind of weird actually, when you think about it, shoving a load of air in to the tyre – but Big Joe says it’s better than the alternative!

Apparently, wheels used to just be solid wood or metal and if you went over a bump, even a tiny one, you’d really feel it whereas in the new type of tyres – called pneumatic tyres – it’s the air that keeps things bouncing along! That’s what pneumatic means – that it’s got air in it.

Big Joe was telling us that it’s all thanks to Robert William Thomson, from Stonehaven in Scotland. In 1845 he patented the world’s first pneumatic tyres in France and America – although it was a while before the idea caught on!

What is patenting?

A patent protects inventions.

How they are work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made. It means that no-one can copy, make, sell or import your invention without your permission.

In 1888 John Dunlop patented a pneumatic tyre in the UK, but because Robert William Thomson had beaten him to it his patent was declared invalid! It was actually his company, called Dunlop, that made them famous – you can see their names on pneumatic tyres even to this day!

Well, all that pumping got me thinking… you know what this tour bus could do with? Some lovely inflatable chairs!

Oh, oh! Actually, I’ve got an even better idea – something that would be both comfy and fun… a bouncy castle!

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