10 Famous Companies And Their Surprising Origin

Would you be surprised, if we told you that Nokia was a paper mill and Samsung was just another grocery stores? Well, the brands today, with their hardcore advertising have made us strongly associate their names with their products. However, it’s impossible to even imagine if these brands sold other goods before and not the products for which they are famous for.

Here are ten famous companies and their surprising origins.

1. Samsung was a grocery store

You would be surprised to know that Samsung was opened in March 1938 as a grocery store in Korea. The store used to import and export dried fish, vegetables and noodles. Samsung started making electronic gadgets in 1960. In 1987, it was divided into Samsung Electronics, Shinsegae Group, CJ Group, and Hansol Group. Then in 1993, Samsung full-fledged started selling electronics.

2. Nintendo used to make playing cards

Nintendo was a card maker when it started in 1889. Nintendo Koppai’s playing cards were famous in Japan, and people widely used it for gambling by the Japanese mafia. Nintendo also forayed into hotel business where they started a love hotel for couples, which did not make them gain profit. They started making game consoles in 1983, and there on it started making progress into the video business.

3. Wrigley founder gave chewing gums to people who bought soap from his father’s shop

William Wrigley Jr used to help his father in maintaining his soap shop. At first, they used to give away free umbrellas to people who bought soap from them. The umbrella was then replaced by chewing gum and they started selling baking powder instead of soap. Customers liked the chewing gum so much, that they requested Wrigleys to make more of it. Wrigleys then hired Zeno chewing gum manufacturing company, which were converted into Wm Wrigley Jr. Company.

4. Nokia was first a paper mill
In 1865, Fredrik Idestam opened a paper mill on the banks of Finland’s Nokianvirta river and named it Nokia Ab. The mill was then acquired by Finnish Cable in 1922. They further expanded the business and called it Nokia Corporation. The corporation produced things like toilet paper, car tires, rubber shoes, bicycles, and computers. In 1988, Nokia got divided into six subsidiaries, a year later the subsidiaries were sold and only Nokia mobile company remained.


5. Peugeot was a steel mill before it became a car manufacturer

It was a wise decision made by brothers Jean-Pierre and Jean-Federic Peugeot to convert their flour mill into a steel mill. There on they moved to make Le Grand Bi bicycle, later on they progressed by making a three wheeler car. Peugeot was then divided into two divisions. One made tools, while the other made automobiles and bicycles. The divisions finally merged and started making cars and bicycles

6. Royal Dutch Shell used to import oriental shells which was used for interior designing

The petroleum company, during its launch in 1833, used to import oriental shells that were used for interior designing. The brothers then took interest in oil business, where they started transporting oil in tankers. They called their company ‘The tank syndicate’. The company then partnered with Royal Dutch petroleum company and in 1907, the company became Royal Dutch Petroleum and they redesigned their logo to a scallop shell, since before it was a mussel one.

7. Fanta was created during WWII in Germany after Coca-Cola stopped shipping its syrup

Pearl Harbor incident stopped the influx of Coca-Cola syrup to Germany. Max Kieth, the chief of Coca-Cola in Germany decided to make another soda flavour to keep Germany’s thirst for soda intact. And thus, Fanta was born. With excessive artificial sugar, and remains of apple ultimately produced Fanta.

8. Motorola used to manufacture car radios

When Paul Gavin started Motorola, which was called Victrola then, his intention was to make car radios. Gavin then changed the name of the radio to Motorola, a fusion of the words Moto (motor) and the victrola. Motorola began manufacturing phones in 1960s and that’s how the cellphones got their names.

9. Suzuki Loom Works 

In 1909, Suzuki founded Suzuki Loom works in a small village in japan. Suzuki built weaving looms for Japan's giant silk industry for 30 yrs. Based on consumer demand, the company decided to build a small car in 1937.

10. Hewlett Packard 

Hewlett Packard was launched as an engineering company in 1947. It began by creating a slew of electrical testing products, including audio and signal generators . In 1968, HP introduced the first large scale personal computer.

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