Rubber Baron – Flash Fiction for 6/8/12

In 1860, Charles Goodyear lay dying at the Eighth Street Hotel in New York City. The inventor of the process of rubber vulcanization should have been a wealthy man, but his end came in deep poverty and failure. Bankruptcy, debtor’s prison, the deaths of seven children, and legal battles had left him $200,000 in debt.

His body failing, he dreamed he was rising through the air, moving toward the next world, the earth receding, the sky padded with fluffy clouds. Flying toward him was a giant airship. As it passed, emblazoned on its side, in huge letters, was his name.

19 responses to “Rubber Baron – Flash Fiction for 6/8/12

  1. Very lovely, Bridges, sad and bittersweet. A very close friend of mine, surname Dunlap, looked up his family history and found that Dunlop had sold the rights to his recipe for rubber for £100 and no royalties very early on, so he too, made no money from the tyre company that bore his name.

  2. I like this. A very good way to get in a bit of history or pretend with it anyway, and very convincing. Real nice. Thanks for reading mine and the positive comments.

  3. Sad and bittersweet. A lover of history, this prompts me to google Goodyear’s life story/bio. If true, it reminds me of Herman Melville who also died in a cheap, NYC hotel…bankrupt and destitute…never to see any success during his lifetime. How wonderful if both men had similar visions/dreams before they died. Nice work. Here’s mine:

  4. Wonderful portrayal of a bittersweet life–loved the history of it. The fanciful dream made for a nice touch and lifted the gloom. Great job! This was one of my favorites of the week.

    Thanks for visiting my site.

  5. Hi Bridges… I liked this one a lot, using nonfiction and connecting it with the prompt so directly. It had strong emotion too, in his dying wish. Very cool. cheers, Laura (; you’ve commented on mine already).

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