Ancient Mesoamericans Invented Rubber 3,000 Years Before Goodyear

Rubber played a big part in the traditional Mesoamerican ballgame, which was played by many civilizations in Mesoamerica. (Photo by Alex Peña/LatinContent via Getty Images)

Do a quick Google search for who invented rubber, and you will see the name Charles Goodyear pop up quite a bit. The American chemist and namesake of the Goodyear Tire Company gets most of the credit for the creation of rubber and all the rubber products in our lives, but rubber predates Goodyear by three centuries. The ancient Mesoamericans were using rubber long before Goodyear and his accidental discovery of the vulcanization process in 1839. Let's look more closely at rubber in the centuries before Charles Goodyear.