Rubber Heart visits Rubber City
Rubber Heart visited Akron ‘Rubber City’ in April and had the good fortune to catch an Akron Rubber Ducks baseball game and see the famous Rubber Worker Statue, which sits proudly in the centre of Akron, Ohio (known as rubber capital of the world).
The striking 12-foot cast bronze statue depicts a rubber worker hand-wrapping a tire, a tribute to the city’s rich rubber heritage. Ohio Sculptor Alan Cottrill was hired to create the statue and was inspired by the image on the cover of the 1999 book “Wheels of Fortune: The Story of Rubber in Akron” by David Giffels and Steve Love. Installed on May 11, 2021, the sculpture stands on two tiers of marble and is the centrepiece of a newly built roundabout at the intersection of Main and Mill Streets. The installation also features plaques that describe the unique contributions of women and African Americans to the rubber industry in Akron.
We also spent a very chilly afternoon at Canal Park, home to The Akron RubberDucks, a Minor League Baseball team affiliated with the Cleveland Guardians. The nickname “RubberDucks” refers to Akron’s history in the rubber industry, in particular as the birthplace of leading tire and rubber companies such as Goodyear, Firestone, B.F. Goodrich and General Tire.
“It felt a real privilege for us to finally experience Akron with some of the great friends we’ve made over the years,” said David Cawthra of Rubber Heart. “After more than 20 years in the rubber industry, it seemed strange we had never been there before and I only hope that we can return one day and spend a bit more time in the Rubber City!” he added.