Ohio Tourism and Its People
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B. F. Goodrich

Akron, Ohio

Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich (his mother was a big fan of Ben Franklin) was a failure at many of the things he tried. What made the difference was his idea to move his failing business to a new location and start over. The result: BFGoodrich became a world leader in the production of rubber products and his success in Akron attracted other businesses to Akron that were also successful.

Born in 1841 on a farm in upstate New York. In 1858 he began studing medicine with his his cousin, Dr. Spencer. The following year he enrolled in the Cleveland Medical College and graduated in 1860 and opened a medical practice back in New York which amounted to nothing. At this point in history, the Civil War stepped in and gave Ben a push. He enlisted as a hospital steward, and was soon promoted to assistant surgeon. After the war, he again tried his luck as a doctor, but without success.

After several failed doctoring ventures, Goodrich moved to New York City where he met John Morris and the two became involved in real estate deals. One of these deals involved the Hudson River Rubber Company. Through a series of misteps and failures, Goodrich and Morris ended up owning the failed company outright, even though neither man new anything about manufacturing, much less about rubber.