Since we have a near-obsession with soccer's objet d'art, let's cover the first modern soccer ball. History has claimed pig bladders, cow hide leather, and even skulls as the first soccer balls, reflecting centuries of sports that sort of resembled soccer. But the modern soccer ball is generally credited to hard-luck 19th century inventor Charles Goodyear, who used his technique for vulcanizing rubber to form the first footie in 1855. (Yes, he for whom the tire company was named when it launched near the turn of the century.) The sphere evolved to be inflatable, then stitched, though the general size of Goodyear's was adopted by the English Football Association as the standard in 1872.