Goodyear was born in New Haven, Connecticut on December 29, 1800 to a well-respected, upper-class family. In 1814, the teenage Goodyear left for Philadelphia to learn about industry. returning in 1821, Goodyear entered into a partnership in his father’s business producing various metal-based products. Three years later, Goodyear married Clarissa Beecher and together they moved to Philadelphia where Goodyear, having left his father’s business, opened a general hardware store. He sold agricultural products imported from England. Within a few years, his business was thriving, and by 1829, he had amassed quite a bit of wealth. In 1829, however, his health declined due to a case of dyspepsia, a disease that attacks the digestive system and causes chronic pain in the upper abdomen. Around this time, his business failed as well. eventually, he was forced to close a number of stores. After his health returned, Goodyear undertook a project that would form the basis of his life’s work: the vulcanization process of rubber (Peirce).