The company originated in 1889, when Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co. Ltd was formed in Oriel House in Dublin in Westland Row, to acquire and commercialise John Boyd Dunlop’s patent for pneumatic tyres for bicycles. This was the period of great demand for bicycles, and Willie Hume had created a publicity storm by winning seven out of the first eight races in which the pneumatic tyre was ever used, both in Ireland and England. Commercial production began in late 1890 in Belfast, and quickly expanded to fulfill consumer demand. After losing a patent battle to the assignees of an earlier pneumatic tyre patent filed by inventor Robert William Thomson, Dunlop assigned his patent to William Harvey Du Cros in return for 1,500 shares in the resultant company, and in the end did not make any great fortune by his invention.
In the early 1890s Dunlop Tyre established divisions in Europe and North America. In 1893 a branch office and factory was established in Australia, in Melbourne. In 1896 the company registered a trademark and incorporated a subsidiary in England.
Info gleaned from Wikipedia