It happens often in our world that humans stumble upon something cool, adapt it into many faces of every day life and then years down the road discover that it likely wasn’t the best move because said miracle product is actually harmful to human health. Asbestos definitely falls into this category as the mineral derived product was used in everything from automotive brakes to home and industrial insulation before anyone knew that it had negative effects on the human respiratory system.
This video is not about any of that bad stuff, it is actually a fascinating look at how Firestone worked with asbestos to develop high performance brake shoes for cars and trucks of the era. There’s a load of neat information here that really starts with the story of what asbestos actually is, where it comes from, and then how companies like Firestone, Raybestos, and others were able to adapt this thermally bad ass stuff into stopping power for cars and big trucks.
To us, this video is both a history lesson and a gearhead mechanical lesson. We knew very little about the manufacture of development of braking materials before this. Now? Now we have a 1950s PhD on the subject thanks to the “World of Bestos”!