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