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.


Timothy | November 26, 2023 @ 10:03AM
I am looking for the battery size for Transistor Radio - c1960's Michelin Man (20cm Tall)a

Teun | November 7, 2021 @ 12:12PM
What about the michelin mans being a status of opression, during the french occupation of vietnam. Id love to learn more about him and the rich history of michelin company!

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About Michelin North America

Michelin, the leading mobility company, is working with tires, around tires and beyond tires to enable Motion for Life. Dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility and sustainability, Michelin designs and distributes the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its customers’ needs. Michelin provides digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences. Bringing its expertise to new markets, the company is investing in high-technology materials, 3D printing and hydrogen, to serve a wide variety of industries — from aerospace to biotech. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, Michelin North America has approximately 22,500 employees and operates 34 production facilities in the United States and Canada. (