He earliest tires were bands of iron (later steel), placed on wooden wheels, used on carts and wagons. The tire would be heated in a forge fire, placed over the wheel and quenched, causing the metal to contract and fit tightly on the wheel. A skilled craftsman, known as a wheelwright, carried out this work. The tension of the metal band served the purpose of holding or "tying" the wooden spokes of the wheel together, hence the term "tire". In addition to tying the spokes together, the tire also provided a wear-resistant surface to the perimeter of the wheel. As wheels changed over time, the term "tire" continued to be used for the outer band even when it no longer served the purpose of tying the spokes together.
Tire is an older spelling than tyre, but both were used in the 15th and 16th centuries for a metal tire; tire became the settled spelling in the 17th century. In the UK, tyre was revived in the 19th century for pneumatic t