Posted on May 29, 2012

The History of the Michelin Man

First created by the imaginative Michelin brothers and the talented poster artist O'Galop, alias Marius Rossillion, the Michelin Man was immediately a great success. The Michelin Man has evolved since his birth in 1898, becoming a modern, socially responsible icon - similar to the way Michelin, as a company, has evolved to outfit vehicles and meet the changing needs of consumers while maintaining its position as the leader in tire innovation and technology for over a century.

Shaped by the Brush

In 1898, while looking at an advertising sketch for a brasserie drawn by O'Galop, Andre Michelin had an idea: why not replace the bearded giant raising his beer mug with a man made of a pile of tires and holding a cup filled with nails and broken glass. The Latin quotation from Horace, "Nunc est Bibendum" ("Now it is time to drink") proclaimed by the character was also reused by Michelin: "Cheers, the Michelin tire drinks up obstacles!" This slogan had been launched by Andre Michelin a few years prior to convince engineers of the benefits of tires.

An Evocative Pile of Tires

At the Lyon Universal Exhibition in 1894, the Michelin brothers noticed an evocatively-shaped pile of tires on their stand. Edward said to Andre: "Look, with arms, it would make a man." Andre Michelin Would remember this moment a few years later.

He is made of 26 tires and has even shared his tires with stranded motorists. He has been an astronaut, a stunt driver, a tire inspector and a dancer, doing everything with a helpful spirit, confidence and good humor that has helped define him for generations.

About Michelin North America

Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. The Company has earned a long-standing reputation for building innovative premium tires.  In addition to tires, the Company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America ( employs about 22,700 and operates 19 major manufacturing plants. Forbes magazine has ranked Michelin No. 1 on its annual survey of “Best Large Employers in America” for 2018. Learn more about purpose-driven careers with a purpose-driven company at


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