Like everything else, every big brand that you see around has a history and sometimes the histories of those brands are so fascinating that your whole perception about them changes. Here are 12 fascinating historical facts about popular brands you probably didn’t know.
1. Band-aid was invented because the inventor’s wife was prone to injuries.
Band-aid was invented by Earle Dickson, an employee at Johnson & Johnson Company because his newly wedded wife Josephine was prone to injuries and would cut herself several times in a week. To help her quickly bandage her wounds in his absence, Earle stuck squares of gauze in the middle of strips of tapes and made some ready-made bandages for her. When Johnson & Johnson learned about the invention, they started mass producing it and it was such big a success that Earle went on to become the vice-president of the company.
2. Nutella was supposed to be a substitute for chocolates.
Nutella was created to substitute chocolate by Pietro Ferrero of Italy in the 1940s as due to Second World War chocolates were short in supply and had become expensive. He was just trying to create a cheaper substitute of chocolate with locally available hazelnuts and a little cocoa.
3. Mountain Dew’s original purpose was to be used as whiskey mixer.
Mountain Dew was actually invented as a mixer with moonshine, a kind of high-proof distilled alcohol and not as an energy drink. Due to this, its early containers were also similar to those of moonshine.
4. Puma and Adidas were technically a single company.
The founders of Puma and Adidas were brothers who had started a shoe company together called Dassler Brothers Sports Shoe Company. But as their business spiked, they developed differences between themselves. By the end of WWII, they split and formed two different but hugely successful companies we know today.
5. Nokia once used to sell toilet papers.
The name Nokia is actually derived from a name of a village in Finland, and it didn’t always use to make mobile phones. At one point in the history of the company, it used to manufacture black rubber boots and even a type of luxurious toilet paper.
6. Listerine coined the term ‘halitosis’ to sell their products.
Though the existence of bad-breath in humans is as old a tale as is humanity, it was but the Listerine company founder’s son Jordan Wheat Lambert who coined the term ‘halitosis’ to market Listerine. Before becoming a success as mouthwash, it was marketed as a surgical antiseptic, foot cleaning, floor scrubbing etc.
7. Marlboro cigarettes were specifically meant for women consumers.
Marlboro started out targeting women as their primary cigarette consumers and for years it was perceived as women’s cigarette. But to include men, the company decided to market it for men too. But the campaign went too far and the sale of women consumers dropped, so it had to later introduce Virginia Slims to regain women customers.
8. Fanta was invented because Coca-Cola wasn’t available.
Fanta was invented by the head of Coca-Cola company in Germany along with some ‘smart heads’ during the Nazi regime from locally available ingredients after the allied forced imposed various bans on Germany, making it difficult to transport Coke. It was vastly popular.
9. Lamborghini exists because of an insult.
Ferruccio Lamborghini decided to get into car manufacturing business because Enzo Ferrari insulted him when he approached him to talk about the problems he was facing with the Ferrari model he had bought. Reportedly, Enzo told him that the problem was not with the car but with the driver. Enraged, Ferruccio created his own brand of car the world knows today as Lamborghini and beat Ferrari in its own game.
10. Pepsi was once the sixth-largest military power in the world.
Pepsi, at one point in history, had become the sixth largest military power in the world in terms of diesel submarines after USSR decided to give Pepsi 17 submarines, a cruiser, a frigate and a destroyer in the 1980s to continue functioning in the country as USSR couldn’t make the payments in dollars to the American company.
11. Kellogg’s Cornflakes was designed to stop people from masturbating.
John Harvey Kellogg, the creator of Kellogg’s Cornflakes, believed that eating meat increased the desires for sex, and thus to counter it he set on a mission to create a range of foods that weren’t meat so as to counter the desires and invented Kellogg’s Cornflakes and sold it as a healthy diet that would keep away the temptation of masturbating in 1878.
12. IBM helped the Nazis to kill millions of Jews.
The computer company IBM is one of the very few companies in existence today that was directly involved in the process of mass executions of the Jews under Nazi Germany. It was responsible for the identification of Jews, estimate their population, calculating how many Jews needed to be transported to the ghettos and even prepared tags for them. To carry out the orders of Adolf Hitler, the company actually opened a new subsidiary called Watson Business Machines.
Interesting, isn’t it?