In 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin wrote a search engine for the world wide web. They called it Backrub. Larry’s office was in room 360 in the B Wing of the Gates Computer Science Building on the Stanford Campus. Larry and his colleagues were brain storming names for a new search engine. Sean Anderson suggested using Googolplex. Inferring the vast data base of the Internet. Larry shortened it to Googol. He liked it but wasn’t a world-class speller. He searched the Domain Registry to see if Google.com was available. Google.com was registered to Larry and Sergey on September 15, 1997.
[ed. note: Thanks to Jamie who inspired me to sort fact from fiction about Google. The Urban Legend of a misspelled bank check is a bunch of whooey]
A Gogolplex is a very…very large number.
In the early 1900’s, a young man watched his sister Maybel mix coal dust and Vaseline together and then apply it to her eyelashes. Combining his sister’s name with Vaseline, he then marketed it as Maybelline.
The California Giant Produce Company grew carrots and lettuce. In the 1930’s and 1940’s their label depicted a Bigfoot carrying a crate of vegetables.
Adidas was founded by the Bavarian, Adolf “Adi”Dassler.
Joshua Lionel Cowen (b. 1877) was working as a window dresser for a department store. In an effort to attract the attention of would be shoppers, Cohen made moving displays. Putting the electric motor from a fan into a cheese box and fashioning track from copper tubing, he built a little train engine. It would do circles in the store front window. Cowen hoped the movement would draw attention to the merchandise on sale.
When customers starting asking more questions about his trains that the store merchandise, Cowen started selling his electric trains. Lionel Trains was created in 1900 using Cowen’s middle name.
In 1953 Lesney products was an English toy company. Jack Odell was co-owner of the company and he decided to help his daughter with her school assignment. It was “Show and Tell Day” and the rule was the item the students could bring in must be small enough to fit in a match box. Jack made a tiny vehicle small enough to do the job. It was a street roller.
Odell’s street roller was such a hit with the kids that Lesney Products started producing the “Match Box” line of toy cars. Lesney products continued to create and produce their signature MATCHBOX cars up in till the company went bankrupt in 1982. At this time the MATCHBOX name, tooling and molds were picked up by Universal Toys and Mr. David Yeh.
Crayola is French for oily chalk. Crayon is French for chalk pencil. Crayola Crayons re oily chalk pencils.
Ever notice the numbers on the Dr Pepper logo. Yeah, it’s the old logo but I saw it on an episode of Mad Men and it got me thinking. Marketed as the original energy drink hence the “pep” in pepper and healthy for you to boot. The Doctor part implied it’s health benefits and the punctuation was dropped from “Dr” for aesthetics. Research highlighted three points in the day when the human energy level drops. 10-2-4 were 10AM, 2PM and 4PM. the times of the day you were supposed to drink Dr Pepper to avoid the energy slump.
The 10-2-4 has been replaced by a mysterious 23. This refers to the 23 flavors which combine to make the unique flavor of Dr Pepper.
The Ka-Bar Knife (pronounced “KAY BAR”), revered combat knife of the United States Marine Corps got its name thanks to a testimonial letter sent to the company by a fur trapper in the 1920s. The trapper wrote, in very broken English, that he used a Union Cutlery knife to kill a wounded bear after his gun jammed. All that was legible of his scrawled writing was k a bar. So honored were corporate executives that they used the phrase as their trademark, Ka-Bar. In 1952, the Ka-Bar name had achieved such fame that the company changed its name to Ka-Bar Cutlery.
Bubble Wrap was originally designed to be wall paper and was marketed as a shower curtain.
During World War One (1914-1918) soldiers were getting wounded in such large numbers that people were running out of bandages. To fill the gap, Kimberly/ Clark developed a bandage that was made of cellulose instead of cotton. These paper bandages were cheaper to make. Soon after arriving on the battlefield, the nurses(and nuns) tending the wounded started using them for their “Lady Days”. Back then, when Aunt Flo visited the choices available were rags (hence the phrase “On the Rag”.) and going commando (eww). These new bandages worked really well and the girls tossed them when full. What could be easier?
After the war Kimberly/Clark had warehouses full of these bandages. They marketed them to women as feminine hygiene pads. The word KOTEX was coined from [K]Otton-like TEXture. The odd sounding word was designed to keep counter clerks from giggling. Sales did not go well until a counter display was designed so that women could buy KOTEX without talking to the clerk.
Early in his career, Barry Manilow wrote product jingles. Among them were:
“I am stuck on Band Aids.
cuz Band Aids stuck on me.”
“Just like a good neighbor,
State Farm is there.”
The Q in Q-tips stands for Quantum.
LEGO is derived from the Dutch words LEG GODT which translates as “Play well”.
Mr Potato Head was the first toy advertised on T.V. in 1951.
The felt tip pen was invented by the American C.I.A. in an attempt to make a poison pen. The poison would not flow through a fountain pen.
Pencils have never contained lead. Well…maybe just the paint.
The paper used in making U.S. currency is made (70%) from blue jean pants remnants.
The phrase “Often a bridesmaid, but never a bride,” actually originates from an advertisement for Listerine mouthwash from 1924.
By 1939, Nazi Germany had 43 Coca-Cola bottling plants and employed over 600 people. CEO Max Keith tried to keep production going as the war progressed. Ingredients were getting hard to come by and even negotiations through neutral Switzerland failed. At that point Coca-Cola production in Germany ceased. Keith then decided to keep the plants running by producing a new soft drink. It was named when Keith announced there would be an employee contest to name the beverage and to “..let you fantasy run wild.” Upon hearing that veteran salesman Joe Kripp blurted out….
1. In many states, police officers used to carry spray cans of Coke to shoot in the face of criminals and debilitate them. These Coke cans were eventually replaced with less harmful mace and pepper spray.
2. A vat of Coke can dissolve a beef steak in less than a minute.
3. Many automobile batteries are filled with Coke syrup.
4. If a Coca-Cola truck crashes on the highway and spills its load, a HAZMAT team has to be called and the cloud of noxious vapors can kill small animals up to three miles away.
5. Doctors and safety experts recommend that, if you must drink Coke, that you at least wear rubber gloves and safety goggles.
6. The title creature in Alien had Coke syrup for blood.
7. In the Fifties, girls used Coca-Cola as a contraceptive.
8. The Red Suit, the Reindeer, the coming down the chimney. Cola-Cola invented Santa in 1931.
Subaru is the Japanese name for The Pleiades, an open cluster in the constellation of Taurus. That is why it’s on their logo.
Michelob was invented during a brewers strike in the 1930s from a recipe tossed together by the untrained workers left behind to run the brewery.
The 33 on a bottle of Rolling Rock was originally a printers error. It refers to the 33 words in the original slogan. It has generated enough mystery over the years that the company left it in the label.
NERF– You know, the toy? NERF is short for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.
The Barbie Liberation Army (BLA)
went into stores and bought the talking versions of Barbie and G.I. Joe. They took them home and switched the voice boxes of the dolls. The doctored dolls were then returned to the shelves. The BLA did this to protest the what they felt was the negative image Barbie taught little girls.
When the string was pulled, Barbie said things like “Come on Boys, take this hill!” and Joe said things like “Let’s go shopping!”. The BLO today is also known as the more pc Barbie Liberation Organization. In response to the BLA, Mattel actually redesigned Barbie to be more anatomically correct with smaller breasts and a thicker waist line.
Elliot Handler (April 9, 1916 – July 21, 2011), was the creator of Hot Wheels cars and the co-founder of Mattel toys.
According to legend, Elliot wanted something that would appeal to little boys as strongly as his wife Ruth’s creation (Barbie) appealed to little girls.
The first product Motorola started to develop was a record player for automobiles. At that time, the most known player on the market was Victrola, so they called themselves Motorola.
The first CD pressed in the US was Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.”
WD-40 stands for Water Displacement, 40th attempt. That’s how many tries it took Norm Larsen, a chemist, to concoct a formula that would prevent corrosion by displacing water.
The term secret sauce was created during the Cold War , in order to help discontinue the use of the term “Russian” dressing.
The more expensive the bottle of wine, the deeper its dimple on its bottom will tend to be.
The Zippo lighter was named “Zippo” because inventor George G. Blaisdell liked the sound of the word “zipper”, but couldn’t use it because it was already patented in nearby Meadville, Pennsylvania.
The television series Bonanza was created specifically to provide a product for RCA’s new color TV sets.
TASERThe taser was invented by a fan of Victor Appleton’s adventure novels featuring Tom Swift, sort of a techno-genius cousin of the Hardy Boys, and its name stands for
“Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle.” Click Here to see proof
Ivory bar soap floating was a mistake. They had been over mixing the soap formula causing excess air bubbles that made it float. Customers wrote and told how much they loved that it floated, and it has floated ever since. [It floats in gasoline, too.]
The 3 most valuable brand names on earth: Marlboro, Coca-Cola, and Budweiser, in that order.
The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket. The first food he microwaved on purpose was popcorn.
The Ramses brand condom is named after the great pharaoh Ramses II who fathered over 160 children.