Vintage Firestone Tire Ashtray

Submitted by Michael Ely February 19th, 2011
Certifikitsch Winner
This is a very old ashtray dated 1935. The glass ashtray sits in a miniature Firestone rubber tire. The embossed writing commemorates the California Pacific International Exposition in San Diego. The glass is clear, so I placed a piece of white paper underneath so you can see the writing. According to Wikipedia – The Exposition was held to promote San Diego and support its economy which had slowed down with the country’s Great Depression. The exposition had hundreds of exhibits in history, the arts, horticulture, ethnic cultures, science, and industry. If you have been to San Diego’s beautiful Balboa Park, several buildings from this expo still remain. My guess is that this ashtray was a souvenir from the Ford Building which was dedicated to automobiles and featured the Firestone fountain out in front.

5 Responses to “Vintage Firestone Tire Ashtray”

  1. Allee Willis

    Growing up with my father owning a scrapyard in Detroit we had these rubber tire ashtrays all over the place. I never got over my love for them and have many to this day: .

    None of mine had Amber glass however and, as I recall. nothing was ever written in the glass. This one is fantastic. And, of course, always a nice touch to have period matches next to a period ashtray.

    I absolutely love that Ford building.

    • Michael Ely

      I love your collection of tire ashtrays, Allee. There is just something about them that is so cool, brings back memories of going to auto shows when I was a kid. My ashtray comes from my partner’s 87 year old aunt. She knew I wanted that ashtray for years, and finally she gave it to me.

  2. k2dtw

    Great post!!… I love the tire ashtray, always thought the “tire” advertising was so smart. Always wondered who worked in the “tiny tire” division of the factory???…smile I have never seen the FAB Firestone, SAN Expo ashtray..Got to be rare??? I see Firestone, but very little if any SAN Expo pieces around here?
    Henry Ford (Thomas Edison) and Harvey Firestone were great friends, early pre 1920’s. Firestone is family, Edsel’s son, William Clay Ford, Sr. (Lions) married Martha Firestone, but that was after 1935??
    More info than i have ever seen/read!!.. (when you have some time and a beer)…

    More great Expo pictures…beautiful grounds, and setting.

  3. Michael Ely

    Hi k2dtw. Thanks for the cool pics of the expo. Don’t ya wish you could get in a time machine and travel back to visit some of the great expos and world fairs? Personally I would love to see the 1964 New York’s World Fair.

    I also read the piece on the Ford Building. Very long and detailed, but very interesting.

    • k2dtw

      I sure do, especially now after I read all the info, it really sounded wonderful!! We don’t get many souvenirs or much memorabilia and that great paper/postcards from the West Coat Expos and Fairs. I especially love how much info is now online in all these beautiful sites, it was always so hard to find and own all the right books. I can’t believe how much money Ford spent in 1935!!