Friday, March 7, 2003

Ohio Moments

William H. Spencer invented rubber bands

On March 7, 1923, William H. Spencer of Alliance, Ohio, obtained rejected inner tubes from the Goodyear Co. and began cutting them into bands in his basement. Spencer, who worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad, began trying to sell his rubber bands to office-supply stores and paper and twine outlets.

One day he noticed the Akron Beacon Journal blowing across lawns and persuaded that paper to bind them with his bands. He talked the Tulsa World into doing the same, and persuaded grocers to use his rubber band instead of string to secure produce.

Spencer continued working for the railroad for 14 years while building his rubber-band business at his Alliance plant. By 1944 he was able to open a second plant in Hot Springs, Ark. In 1957 he opened another, in Franklin, Ky., and one in Salinas, Calif. in 1988. The Alliance Rubber Co. now produces more than 2 million pounds of rubber bands a month in addition to other office, mailing and packaging products and sells to more than 30 countries.

Rebecca Goodman

Ohio Moments will appear daily in 2003. Have a suggestion? Contact Rebecca Goodman at or (513) 768-8361.

Pull-tab lottery tied to terror
Robotic surgery comes to TriHealth
Test-driving the da Vinci device
Tarbell floats idea of tax on water taxi
Convict given 'vacation' from jail

Grand jury hears Deters testimony in theft case
Fights, taunts led up to shooting
Bullying among 4 factors for youth violence, expert says
Churches target Cincinnati in campaign to help blacks
County report looks at trends, points to problems needing fix
Edward Dinerman, 94, longtime advertising exec
Catherine 'Kit' Nicholas oversaw labs at hospitals
Tristate A.M. Report

BRONSON: Blame game
HOWARD: Some Good News

Green Beer Day somewhat flat; fewer revelers
Shed giant sign, county tells Hustler
Deal struck for Metro routes
Clermont adopts clean water plan
Admirers help out a champ
Realtors protest Butler tax plan

State's school districts told to brace for even deeper cuts
No clemency advised for man on Ohio death row
Panelists disagree on how to select Ohio's judiciary
Ohio Moments

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Doctor accused of pushing painkillers
Ten Commandments challenge awaits ruling
Epling-inspired bill gets House OK
Attorney: Confessed killer's testimony wasn't perjury
KET names Oklahoma TV executive new CEO
Off the Beam, on your Mark
Martha Comer led Maysville paper