The original Michelin Man from 1894.
The Michelin Man is white because rubber tires are naturally white. It was not until 1912 that carbon chemicals were added, turning them black. The change was structural, not aesthetic. By adding carbon, tires became more durable.
Michelin began reviewing restaurants so that people would travel further distances to eat at these restaurants. This would wear their tires faster and Michelin would sell more tires.
Michelin uses a star system to inform drivers whether or not it’s worth driving to the restaurant.
One star: “A very good restaurant in its category.”
Two star: “Excellent cooking, worth a detour.”
Three star: “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”
It was never about the restaurants. It was always about the tires.