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Monday, August 24, 2009

Goodyear's World of Rubber to close

According to the American Association of Museums (AAM) there are at least 300 corporate museums in the United States. These are private museums, financed by the companies and highlight the evolution of the corporation. Among the better known are the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Hershey’s Hershey Story: The Museum on Chocolate Avenue in Pennsylvania. Intel has a corporate museum in Santa Clara, California; Anheuser-Busch (beer) has their corporate museum in St. Louis; Harley-Davidson have a big museum in Milwaukee; and Michelin opened their corporate museum ''l'Aventure Michelin'' in France to promote the company and its products. The cost of up keep is considerable and although these museums do attract a fair bit of public attention some, more than others. Sadly it was recently confirmed that Goodyear's World of Rubber will close its doors at the end of this month. The museum is in Akron (Texas) and is dedicated to rubber. Opened 61 years ago on the company’s 50th anniversary, the corporate museum is dedicated to the history of rubber-making and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Display items include a World War II Corsair aircraft fuselage, NASA lunar buggy tire, Indy-style race cars, airship memorabilia, Goodyear’s former chemicals and shoe product lines as well as a replica of Charles Goodyear's original workshop. It is hoped many of the attractions will be distributed in the area where the public will still be able to see them. On offer to the last visitors to the museum as free copies of two books — The Goodyear Story, by Maurice O'Reilly and The Legend of Goodyear — The First 100 years, by Jeffrey L. Rodengen.

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