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      Company Flashbacks

      Continental is more than 150 years old, making it one of the oldest companies in Germany. Since it was founded in 1871, Continental has become one of the world’s leading technology companies. For more than 150 years, we have played a decisive role in shaping and advancing mobility worldwide. Here are some highlights and anecdotes from our company’s eventful past.

      Production of football bladders at Continental

      In the past, Continental had a large portfolio of sports and consumer goods. Football bladders were part of this. "Bladder" for the reason that in those days footballs consisted of a leather cover and a rubber interior. The rubber bladder could be replaced if necessary. Continental was an early supplier to the increasingly popular sport of football and rugby in Germany. Football bladders have been manufactured by Continental since around 1900.

      Did you know…

      It's 1925 and motor racing is attracting more and more people. Races are still often held on normal roads, demanding a lot from drivers and machines – and are dominated by men. Continental has been committed to gender equality since the early days of motorsport. Although most of the cars were driven by men, many women also made sporting history on Continental tires in the early 20th century. Some of the most successful female racing drivers of their time competed with Continental equipment and acted as brand ambassadors for the company, including:

      Hanni Köhler: The motorcycle queen of the 1920s rode her way to 10 world records on Continental tires,for instance in the 1,000-kilometer long-distance race.

      Ines Keil-Folville: This early professional racing driver competed in the 24-hour endurance race held in the Hessian Taunus mountains in 1925. Keil-Folville not only won the race – she was also the only woman to take part.  

      Susanne Koerner: After Koerner completed the 2,000-kilometer route from Berlin to Birmingham on a motorcycle in 1926, the Continental customer and company magazine published her travelogue. In it, the motorcycling pioneer described her battle against the weather and bad roads.

      Six-day cycling event on Continental bicycle tires

      Six-day cycling events were extremely popular a hundred years ago. The success of the legendary races in New York’s Madison Square Garden led to these races being held in many large cities around the world. 

      Continental was there in Berlin a hundred years ago when thirteen teams of riders competed for six days in a row. The winners in 1924 covered an incredible 4,544 kilometers, a world record that remains unbroken to this day. Riders Richard Huschke and Franz Krupkat rode on Continental bicycle tires, a guarantee of reliability and performance even back then. Then as now, we are looking for the next sporting challenge to test our products and live out our passion to win. 

      The Continental tennis ball

      In the late 19th century, Continental produced not only pneumatic tires for bicycles and cars, but also tennis balls? Back then, they were still made of soft rubber, with 20 employees hand-manufacturing 100 units a day at the Hanover-Vahrenwald location. It is not known whether these were flying over the net and green grass during the early Wimbledon tournaments.