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The Gates Corporation is one of the largest non-tire rubber companies in the world. Its founder, Charles Gates, started what would become the present day Gates Corporation when he purchased the Colorado Tire and Leather Company in 1911. Their first product was a leather tire cover that helped solve the frequent problem of a flat tire. The company continued to innovate, next by offering a “Durable Tread” that coated a leather tire in metal studs to prevent the tire from being punctured. Their next product, the “Half-Sole,” was a tire cover that elongated the life of a used tire and was a cheaper alternative to a spare. The “Half-Sole” was so successful it was a key contributor to WWI and became Gates’ leading product. The company changed its name to the International Rubber Company a few years after the Half-Sole replaced the Durable Tread in 1914, as it began to favor rubber over leather.

As a result of World War I, rubber supplies were extremely tight and shortages were common. The Half-Sole was given priority manufacturing status however because of the fact that it increased the lifespan and mileage of a tire. This helped the United States conserve rubber. After the war, the name of the company changed to the Gates Rubber Company and, thanks to the substantial drop in rubber prices upon the conclusion of WWI, Gates was able to produce cheaper balloon tires in bulk. They also developed the revolutionary V-Belt (a model for the common serpentine belt), car fan belts, blowout patches, and emergency boots.  The business was growing, and by 1920 a “Super Tread” was included that improved and expanded tire tread to increase mileage. By the end of the 1920s, Gates was manufacturing all kinds of rubber products from hydraulic seals to radiator hoses. By the 1950s, Gates was a leading supplier in hoses and belts for all kinds of appliances and vehicles. All the while, the company continued to expand across the United States as well as internationally.

In the 1980s, the company continued its expansion with the acquisition of the Uniroyal Power Transmission Company. This purchase allowed them to become the world’s largest synchronous/timing belt manufacturer. In 1996, the Gates Rubber Company was acquired by the British-based engineering firm, Tomkins plc. This acquisition ended 85 years of Gates family ownership. In 2003, the company name was changed again, this time to Gates Corporation, which it is still known as today. The name change was made in order to highlight the fact that the company’s range of industrial brands, product lines and customer base had expanded from its early days.

Today, the Gates Corporation manufactures products in all kinds of fields, but for cars and trucks they are the leading supplier in hoses and belts for many transmission systems - ranging from heavy-duty vehicles to passenger cars. They supply rubber for industries like oil engineering, and have also created a carbon fiber alternative to bike chains with a belt system that’s clean, reliable, and lightweight. The same goes for most of their automotive products - which include automotive timing belts, radiator hoses, vacuum hoses, power steering hoses, serpentine belt tensioners, and much more.

Need Gates Auto Parts?

You can find an incredibly large selection of Gates parts here at 1A Auto for many makes and models, and at great prices! From replacement hoses to belts, let 1A Auto be your source for aftermarket Gates branded auto parts for your car or truck.

Gates is a registered trademark of The Gates Corporation. 1A Auto is not affiliated with or sponsored by Gates or The Gates Corporation. See all trademarks.

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