Akron, Ohio, one of the largest cities in the state and the seat of Summit County. It is on the Cuyahoga River in northeastern Ohio, near Cleveland. Akron's name comes from the Greek word akros, meaning “summit”—the city occupies the highest site on the former Ohio and Erie Canal.
Since 1870, when Benjamin Goodrich established a rubber hose factory in Akron, the city has been known for its production of rubber and rubber items. The country's largest rubber manufacturer, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, has its headquarters here. Other products made in Akron include machinery, chemicals, auto parts, and plastics. Akron is a major trucking center and is served by two Interstate highways. The city is also served by rail and by air (Akron-Canton Airport).
The state-controlled University of Akron is the city's leading institution of higher learning. The Akron Symphony Orchestra and the Ohio Ballet perform at the university's E. J. Thomas Hall. Just north of Akron is the Blossom Music Center, summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra. The Akron Art Museum has a notable collection of 19th-and 20th-century American and European art. The Perkins Mansion, the John Brown Home, and the Akron Zoo attract many visitors. Stan Hywet Hall, a 65-room English Tudor mansion with large adjacent gardens, exhibits paintings and antiques of the 17th century.
Annually in August, Akron hosts the All-American Soap Box Derby at Derby Downs. The Cuyahoga Valley National Recreational Area, just north of the city, and Portage Lakes State Park, to the south, offer excellent recreational facilities.
Akron was settled in 1825. Two years later the Ohio and Erie Canal was opened. The invention of the automobile late in the 19th century and the subsequent demand for tires and other rubber products caused Akron to become a major industrial center. Akron was incorporated as a city in 1865.