In 1933, two brothers living in Akron Ohio borrowed $620.00 from their mother to start a tire repair and retreading business. Meyer Myers and his younger brother Lou worked in the tire business; Lou was employed at a tire patch company while Meyer had a used tire store in Akron in what some called the “Rubber Capitol of the World” at that time.
Aptly named Myers Tire Supply, the brothers began retreading and repairing tires and soon expanded specializing in supplying equipment and supplies to tire service shops. Myers supplied clients with tire patches, wheel-balancing and alignment equipment, air compressors, jacks, hand tools, etc… Myers launched its first catalogue in 1937 which quickly became known as the “bible” of the retreading industry with the corporate slogan “Everything for the tire dealer”.
Continuing growth led to the addition of a third brother, Isidore (“Izzy”) Charles Myers who was born in the Bronx, New York on December 17, 1916, graduated from the University of Akron in June 1939 joined his brothers as an equal partner in a small used-tire and tire supply business. The kids father arrived in New York City from Poland in 1908 and then moved the family to Akron, Ohio in 1919 where Izzy earned money by selling newspapers on a downtown Akron Street corner at age six.
During World War II, Meyer ran the business while Izzy served in the Army while older brother Lou served as an Army captain in the Pacific in charge of tire retreading and distribution. At the end of the war the brothers diversified into the manufacture of rubber and plastic products.
AKRO(n) + the brothers initials Meyer – Isadore – Louis and their original last name Schneiderman. = AKRO-MILS
In 1947, the creation of Akro-Mils Inc (plastics) and Patch Rubber Co. would form the core of the company’s manufacturing operations. Akro-Mils started out as a mail order company under the direction of Isidore. It began manufacturing its own products in 1964 and would later expand overseas.
The growing family firm incorporated in 1955. Myers Tire Supply had already entered the Canadian market with the creation of a branch warehouse in London, Ontario in 1953 and established a full-fledged international division in 1959. By 1970, the company had 14 locations throughout the United States with their first expansion location in Detroit.
In 1969 renamed Myers Industries, Inc., co-founder Meyer Myers retired from the company. A few years later a four-day visit to Orange County, California in 1973 changed Izzy and wife Penny’s life. They moved to Southern California and Izzy began a new career at age 56 in industrial real estate, Isidore lead his new company, I.C. Myers Properties, Inc.
Patch Rubber moved operations from Akron to North Carolina in 1978 and would grow to become one of the country’s biggest producers of tire repair kits. Patch manufactured adhesives, cleaners, pre-cured treads, cord stocks, and repair patches.
“Myers Industries, Inc. is a diversified manufacturer of polymer and metal products for industrial, commercial, and consumer markets, and a nationwide wholesale distributor of tools, equipment, and supplies used in tire servicing and automotive underbody repair. Myers Industries has been traded publicly since 1971 and is listed on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol MYE.”
Radial tires, which were invented in France in the 1930s proved particularly positive for Myers. Radials could accommodate two or more retreads, as opposed to their bias-belted tires that could only take one. The new tires’ high sticker price (two to three times that of bias-belted tires) provided another incentive for budget-conscious consumers and commercial fleet operators to take advantage of the opportunity to save money by retreading.
From humble beginnings of borrowing $620.00 from their mother to start a business is a true testament to what hard work, initiative and vision can provide…to a company valued at $730M in 2021.