How Some of the Most Famous Companies Started

By Ayomitide F April 9, 2024

The stories behind the corporate giants we know today, such as Google, McDonald’s, and Apple, offer fascinating insights into their humble beginnings, often captured in seldom-seen photos. These images peel back the curtain on the origins of these mega-companies, from Apple’s garage tinkering to Google’s dorm room brainstorming and McDonald’s first burger joint. They provide glimpses of moments when these iconic brands started writing success stories.

Image credit: Rare Historical Photos

One such tale is that of Dairy Queen, which began with a killer ice cream recipe whipped up by John Fremont “J.F.” McCullough in 1938. Alongside his friend Sherb Noble, they chose Joliet, Illinois, in 1940 as the location of the first Dairy Queen store. The rapid expansion saw them grow from ten stores in 1941 to a staggering 2,600 by 1955, even venturing into Canada in 1953.

Similarly, Capitol Records, founded in 1942 amidst the chaos of World War II by Johnny Mercer, Buddy DeSylva, and Glenn E. Wallichs, revolutionized the music industry. Their most legendary move came twenty years after they signed the Beatles, propelling them to stardom in the U.S. and cementing their place in music history.

Image credit: User Bobak / Wiki Commons / CC BY-SA 2.5

Then there’s Samsung, which traces back to 1938 when Lee Byung-Chul embarked on a trading business. Over the years, the company diversified into various sectors, including electronics. Today, it stands as one of the world’s leading electronics companies, a far cry from its humble beginnings.

The fashion world also has its share of transformation stories, such as H&M’s evolution from a women’s clothing store named Hennes in 1947 to a global fashion powerhouse with over 5,000 stores worldwide. Meanwhile, Intel, initially considering the name “Moore Noyce,” went on to become a tech hardware giant valued at over $130 billion.

The retail sector witnessed the rise of Walmart, spearheaded by Sam Walton’s vision of offering low-priced products to skyrocket sales. What started as Walton’s Five and Dime in 1962 has now become the king of revenue, hauling in around $570 billion annually.

Image credit: unknown user/Twitter

From humble beginnings to global domination, these corporate journeys underscore the entrepreneurial spirit and resilience needed to succeed in business. Whether starting with a killer ice cream recipe, a garage startup, or a humble hot dog stand, these companies have shown that anything is possible with determination and innovation. Their stories inspire aspiring entrepreneurs and remind everyone that greatness comes from unexpected places.

Read the full article for more information on how the most famous brands started.