Interesting & Amazing Facts


Business & Inventions




The American Automobile association was formed in 1905 for the sole purpose of warning motorists of police speed traps.



The A&W of root beer fame stands for Allen and Wright.


Adding Machine

The adding machine was invented by a nineteen-year-old French boy named Blaise Pascal in the year 1642. The boy's invention consisted of a wooden box with sixteen dials on it. By turning the dials, one could do simple addition and subtraction very quickly.



The first airline, DELAG, was established on October 16, 1909, to carry passengers between German cities by Zeppelin airships. Up to November 1913, more than 34,000 people had used the service.


American Airlines

American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first class.



The most recycled product in the world is the automobile.


Ballpoint Pen

The ballpoint pen was first introduced to the United States in October of 1945. It was introduced in New York's Gimbels Department Store, and the whole stock of 10,000 pens was sold out the first day for $12.50 each.


Bank Of America

The Bank of America was originally called the Bank of Italy until the founder, Amedeo Giannini, changed the name in 1930.


Bar Codes

The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley's gum.



Primitive batteries capable of producing 1 volt of electricity were made in Mesopotamia between around 200 B.C. and 200 A.D. They were used mainly for electroplating silver onto copper.


Bayer Aspirin

In 1897, Bayer, who is the makers of Aspirin, once marketed the drug heroin.


Bowie Knife

The Bowie Knife, the Knife with a guard between the long, heavy blade and the handle to protect the user, though associated with and credited to the famous defender of the Alamo, James Bowie, was actually invented by his lesser-known brother, Rezin Pleasant Bowie. James was more adept at using the Knife, carried it everywhere, and soon became identified with it.


Braces (Teeth)

Braces were first invented by Pierre Fauchard in 1728. The braces were made by a flat strip of metal, which was connected to the teeth by thread.



Brylcreem, which was created in 1929, was the first man's hair product.


Can Opener

The can opener was invented 48 years after cans were introduced. The first can was made of solid iron, the weighed more than the food. Instructions read:  "Cut round the top near the outer edge with a chisel and hammer." Only after cans switched to steel cans was the can opener invented.



In the late 1650's the first known check was written in Europe. 


Christmas Lights

The first electric Christmas lights were created by a telephone company PBX installer. Candles were used to decorate trees which were obviously dangerous. This installed took the lights from an old switchboard, connected them together, strung them on the tree and hooked them to a battery.



Chrysler built B-29's that bombed Japan. Mitsubishi built the Zeros that tried to shoot them down. Both companies now build cars in a joint plant call Diamond Star.


Cigarette Lighter

The cigarette lighter was invented before the match.



It was during World War II that clothes with elastic waists were introduced. This is because the metal used in zippers was badly needed for the war.


Coat Hanger

In 1902, the coat hanger was invented Albert Parkhouse who was frustrated at the lack of hooks available to hang up his coat at work. His company thought it was a good idea and patented the invention and, unfortunately, Parkhouse never received any money for his idea.



* Coca-Cola used to use the slogan "Good to the last drop," in 1908. This slogan was later used by Maxwell House.

* Coupons were introduced in 1894 when Asa Candler bought the Coca-Cola formula for $2,300 and gave people coupons that he had written out to receive a free glass of coke.

* In 1894, the first big Coke sign was found on the side of a building located in Cartersville, Georgia, and still exists today.



The condom - made originally of linen - was invented in the early 1500s.


Corinthian Leather

There is no such thing as corinthian leather, the term was made up by Chrysler's ad agency for 1970 commercials featuring Ricardo Montalban.



* Crayola is a French word that means "Oily chalk."

* In 1903, there were originally only eight Crayola crayons in a box and they sold for five cents.

* The most senior crayon maker Emerson Moser retired after making 1.4 billion crayons for Crayola. It was then that he revealed that he was actually colorblind.


Credit Cards

The first credit card was issued by the Diners' Club. Back in 1949, when Frank McNamara was at a restaurant, he realized he did not have enough money to pay for his meal, and had to call his wife to bail him out. He then came up with the idea of the Diners Club, which later issued the first credit card. 


Cuckoo Clocks

Contrary to popular folklore, cuckoo clocks do not come from Switzerland but from the Black Forest in Germany.


da, Vinci, Leonardo

Leonardo da Vinci never built the inventions he designed.


Dixie Cups

Huge Moore, the inventor of Dixie cups got the idea for the name from a neighboring factory, the Dixie Doll Company.



On average a business document is copied 19 times.


Domain Name

The first domain name registered was ""



The first electronic mail, or "email", was sent in 1972 by Ray Tomlinson. It was also his idea to use the @ sign to separate the name of the user from the name of the computer.


Edison, Thomas

* Thomas Edison filed 1,093 patents, including those for the light bulb, electric railways and the movie camera. When he died in 1931, he held 34 patents for the telephone, 141 for batteries, 150 for the telegraph and 389 patents for electric light and power.

* The first sound recording was recently discovered to be made 17 years before Edison's phonograph. It was recorded by French inventor "douard-L" on Scott de Martinville who recorded it visually on smoked paper.

* Edison was credited for inventing the basic tattoo machine. In 1876, he patented the "Stencil-Pens," an engraving device that many years later was modified by Samuel O'Reilly to make the world's first tattoo machine.

* Edison was afraid of the dark.

* Edison did not invent the incandescent electrical light bulb, Joseph Swan of Englnad did.


Electric Chair

The electric chair was invented by a dentist.


ET Dolls

It was illegal to sell ET dolls in France because there is a law against selling dolls without human faces.


Fax Machine

The first working fax machine was used in 1864 sending the messages over a telegraph line. It sent several messages at a time over a single wire and supposedly worked very well.


Fiesta Ware

The popular Fiesta Ware line of dishes sold well in the 1930's, except for the orange-colored sets. The paint used on the orange Fiesta Ware was known to be radioactive.


Ford Motor Company

It took Henry Ford's Motor Company seven years to manufacture 1 million Automobiles. One hundred thirty-two working days after this figure was reached (in 1924), the company had made 9 million more cars.



The revenue that is generated from gambling is more than the revenue that comes from movies, cruise ships, recorded music, theme parks, and spectator sports combined.



Glue dates back to prehistoric times. Artists once mixed colorings with raw eggs, dried blood, and plant juices to make sticky paints for cave murals. Later, ancient Egyptians and other people learned to make stronger glues by boiling animal bones and hides. Today companies make glues using synthetic substances.



The search engine Google got its name from the word "googol" which refers to the number one with a hundred zeros after it.


Guinness Brewery

The original Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland has a six thousand year lease.


Hideaway Bed

According to U.S. Patent Office records, Thomas Jefferson was the inventor of the first Hideaway Bed ever patented in the United States.



* Thomas Watson, who was the chairman of IBM in 1943 predicted that their would probably only be a world market for five computers.

* IBM is the company that holds the most U.S. patents.


Insured Items (Unusual)

* The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge ($40,000,000)

*The Titanic ($3,019,400)

* The voice of opera star Ris Stevens ($1,000,000)

* The legs of dancer Fred Astaire ($650,000)

* The crossed eyes of comedian Ben Turpin ($500,000)

* The legs of actress Betty Grable ($250,000)

* The nose of comedian Jimmy Durante ($140,000)

* Loch Ness Monster: its capture and delivery alive ($56,000)


Insurance Risks (Worst)

* Astronauts

* Drivers of Gold Cup hydroplanes

* Drivers of Indianapolis race cars

* Drivers in Grand Prix auto race

* Aerial performers (without nets)

* Professional prizefighters

* Lumbermen and woodchoppers in the Pacific area

* Professional divers (helmet or skin)

* Electrical power line constructors, tower erectors, and linemen

* Steeplejacks



The first domain name ever registered was



The IRS employees tax manual has instructions for collecting taxes after a nuclear war.


Ivory Soap

* Ivory bar soap floating was a mistake. They had been over-mixing the soap formula causing excess bubbles that made if float. Customers wrote and told how much they loved that it floated, and it has floated ever since.

* Harley Proctor got the idea to name the soap "Ivory" while he was listening to a bible reading at a church in 1879.


Jefferson, Thomas

Thomas Jefferson invented the swivel chair, the pedometer, a letter-copying press, a tilting table, a more effective plough, and several other items. He never patented any of his inventions, wanting people to have free use of them.


Johnson, Jack

The adjustable household wrench was invented by boxing heavyweight champion Jack Johnson in 1922.


Kellogg's Corn Flakes

In 1907, for an ad campaign, women were offered a free box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes cereal for winking at the grocer. At the time, the company was called the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company.


Kellogg's Raisin Bran

When Kellogg's Raisin Bran first came out in 1942, they had a bunch of grapes instead of raisins next to the name of the cereal on the cereal box. In 1966, Sunny the happy smiling sun came out and that is when the grapes turned into raisins.


Kleenex Tissues

In 1924, Kleenex tissues were originally designed as a cold cream remover.


Lazy Susan

The Lazy Susan is named after Thomas Edison' daughter. He invented it to impress a gathering of industrialists and inventors.


Liquid Paper

Liquid paper was invented by Mike Nesmith's (of the Monkees) mother, Bette Nesmith Graham, in 1951.



Sixty percent of the country of Liechtenstein's GNP is generated by the sale of false teeth.



The first lightweight luggage designed for air travel was conceived by aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart.


Mad Hatter

The character known as the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and the phrase "mad as a hatter" are both based on a tragic episode in manufacturing history. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Hat makers used various chemicals in their work, among them mercury for curing felt. Mercury is a deadly poison, and the thousands of workers who handled this noxious substance developed pathological symptoms including kidney damage, anemia, inflammation of the gums, as well as insanity known today as "hatter's syndrome." It is estimated that at one time more than 10 percent of all the workers in hat factories ended their lives insane.


Marcel Marceau

In the 1970's a record company released a record titled "The Best of Marcel Marceau". It contained forty minutes of silence followed by a burst of applause. It sold very well.


Marlboro Cigarettes

Marlboro was the first cigarette company to market a cigarette that had a red filter called "beauty tip." This was done to hide the lipstick marks left on the filter from women smokers.



In 1976, fourteen banks merged to form a bank credit card called "Mastercharge." This was later renamed to what is now know as "Mastercard."



When Sulfur Matches were first manufactured, in the late nineteenth century, the workers who made them, usually young girls, licked the point of each match to make it stiff after dipping it in the requisite chemical solution. The solution contained radioactive zinc sulfide, which attacked the workers' teeth, jaws, and finally their entire bodies. No one knows how many thousands of young girls died of radioactive poisoning before they turned thirty.



The first product that the toy company Mattel came out with was picture frames.



* Ray Kroc bought McDonalds for $2.7 million in 1961 from the McDonald brothers.

* McDonald's restaurant has over 1.5 million employees all over the world.

* The drive-through line on opening day at the McDonald's restaurant in Kuwait City, Kuwait was at times seven miles long.



* Microsoft made $16,005 in revenue in its first year of operation.

* MS-DOS was originally calle QDOS and was bought off the author by Microsoft for a small fee. The rest is history.


Microwave Oven

* The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

* The first commercial microwave oven was called the "1161 Radarange" and was the size of a refrigerator.



Glass mirrors were known in the Roman Empire, but the art of making them was lost and not recovered until 1300 in Venice.


Mister Peanut

Mr. Peanut was invented in 1916 by a Suffolk, Virginia school child who won $5.00 in a design contest sponsored by Planters Peanuts.



The world's first motel opened in San Luis Obispo, California in 1925. It was initially called "Milestone Motel," and later changed to "Motel Inn."



Gottlieb Daimler produced the world's first motorcycle in 1885.



The first product Motorola started to develop was a record player for automobiles. At that time the most known player on the market was the Victrola, so they called themselves Motorola.


New York Times

It takes about 63,000 trees to make the newsprint for the average Sunday edition of The New York Times.



Almost half the newspapers in the world are published in the United States and Canada.



The Nike swoosh was invented by Caroline Davidson back in 1971. She received $35 for making the swoosh. The first shoe with the swoosh was introduced in 1972.



Nintendo was first established in 1889 when they started out making special playing cards.



In 1914, a skin cream was created called "Dr. Bunting's Sunburn Remedy." A customer claimed that the cream had "knocked out his eczema." The name was then changed to what we know now as Noxema.



Nylon is a man-made fiber that is made from coal and petroleum.


Oldest Company

The oldest company known is that of Stora Kopperbergs in Sweden founded in the 11th century as copper manufacturers but who are now electric power producers.


Panama Hats

Panama hats come from Ecuador not Panama.



* The metal part at the end of a pencil is twenty percent sulfur.

* The average lead pencil can draw a line almost 35 miles long.



In 1890, Pepsi-Cola was invented by Caleb Bradham and was originally called "Brad's Drink."


Pet Rock

Over one million Pet Rocks were sold in 1975, making Gary Dahl, of Los Gatos, California, a millionaire. He got the idea while joking with friends about his pet that was easy to take care of, which was a rock.



* Joseph Niepce developed the world's first photographic image in 1827.

* In 1894 Thomas Edison and W K L Dickson introduced the first film camera.



It is estimated that a Plastic container can resist decomposition for as long as 50,000 years.



Play-Doh was introduced in 1956 by Hasbro Inc. The only color available was an off white, and it came in one size which a one and a half pound can.


Pony Express

There wasn't a single pony in the Pony Express, just horses.



* The very first projection of an image on a screen was made by a German priest. In 1646, Athanasius Kircher used a candle or oil lamp to project hand-painted images onto a white screen.

* In 1895 French brothers Auguste and Louis Lumiere demonstrated a projector system in Paris. In 1907 they screened the first public movie.



Q-Tip Cotton Swabs were originally called Baby Gays.



The Ramses brand condom is named after the great pharaoh Ramses II who fathered over 160 children.



The name Reebok was named after the African Gazelle.


Rockefeller, John D.

Oil tycoon, John D. Rockefeller, was the world's first billionaire.



On March 16, 1926, Dr. Robert H. Goddard successfully launched the first liquid fueled rocket. The launch took place at Auburn, Massachusetts, and is regarded by flight historians to be as significant as the Wright Brothers flight at Kitty Hawk.


Rocking Chair

On June 22, 1882, the U.S. Patent Office granted a patent for a propeller driven Rocking Chair. The chair had a large propeller shaped fan mounted at its head, and as it rocked, the propeller turned, eventually moving the Chair on its own power. It was a perpetual motion machine and an air conditioner in one.


Rolls Royce

The monogram "RR" for Rolls-Royce has never been altered, except for when Sir Henry Royce passed away in 1933. Then it was changed from red to black.



Ancient Rome had a Rent-A-Chariot business



Scotchgard was accidentally discovered when inventor Patsy Sherman's assistant spilled an experimental compound on her new shoes.


Scott Paper

When Scott Paper Co. first started manufacturing toilet paper they did not put their name on the product because of embarrassment.



The screwdriver was invented before the screw.



An airplane mechanic invented Slinky while he was playing with engine parts and realized the possible secondary use for the springs.



* In 1998, Sony accidentally sold 700,000 camcorders that had the technology to see through people's clothes

* The first product that Sony came out with was the rice cooker.

* The company "Sony" was originally called "Totsuken." They felt the name "Sony" would be easier to pronounce.


Steam Power

Heron of Greece invented steam power in 50 BC. But the leaders of the day
thought that it would cause unemployment which may lead to unrest and the invention ran out of steam. The steam engine reappeared again only in 1698 when Thomas Savery invented a steam pump.



William Bourne, a British mathematician, drew plans for a submarine in 1578. But it was only in 1620 that Cornelius van Drebbel, a Dutch inventor, managed to build a submarine. He wrapped a wooden rowboat tightly in waterproofed leather and had air tubes with floats to the surface to provide oxygen. Of course, there were no engines yet, so the oars went through the hull at leather gaskets. He took the first trip with 12 oarsmen in the Thames River - staying submerged for 3 hours.


Suntan Cream

Miami Beach pharmacist Benjamin Green invented the first suntan cream by cooking cocoa butter in a granite coffee pot on his wife's stove, and then testing the batch on his own head. His invention was introduced as Coppertone Suntan Cream in 1944.


Super Glue

Cyanoacrylate glues (Super Glues) were invented by accident. The researcher was trying to make optical coating materials and would test their properties by putting them between two prisms and shining light through them. When he tried the cyanoacrylate he couldn't get the prisms apart.



The first manufactured item ever exported from the America was Tar. It was sent from Jamestown, Virginia, to the colony's sponsors in England in 1608.



* Gottlieb Daimler built the world's first taxi in 1897 called the Daimler Victoria and was equipped with a taxi meter. On June 16th of that year the taxi was delivered to Stuttgart transportation entrepreneur Friedrich Greiner who used it to start the world's first motorized taxi company.

* The high roofs of London taxicabs were originally designed to keep gentlemen from knocking off their top hats as they entered and left the vehicles.

* Mexico City boasts the world's largest taxi fleet with over sixty thousand taxis running every day.



Teflon was accidentally discovered by scientist Dr. Roy Plunkett while he was conducting a coolant gas experiment in 1938.



* One hour before Alexander Graham Bell registered his patent for the telephone in 1876, Elisha Grey patented his design. After years of litigation, the patent went to Bell.

* Music was sent down a telephone line for the first time in 1876, the year the phone was invented.

* The first telephone call from the White House was from Rutherford Hayes to Alexander Graham Bell.


Tiffany & Co.

The famous jewelry store Tiffany & Co. was established on September 18, 1837 in New York City. The amount of sales that were made the first day were $4.98.



Air-filled tires were used on bicycles before they were used on automobiles.



* A flush toilet exists that dates back to 2000 BC.

* The inventor of the modern flushing toiler was Thomas Crapper.


Toilet Paper

* The first toilet paper was introduced in 1391 by the Chinese.  The Bureau of Imperial Supplies began producing 720,000 sheets of toilet paper a year, each sheet measuring two feet by three feet. The paper was for the exclusive use of the Emperors.

* In 1857 The Gayetty Firm from New Jersey produced the first toilet paper in the United States named "The Therapeutic Paper". It contained an abundance of aloe, a curative addition. The company sold it in packs of 500 sheets for fifty cents, and Joseph Gayetty had his name printed on each sheet.

* The Scott Paper Company is the first company to manufacture tissue on a roll in 1890, specifically for the use of toilet paper.



The first modern toothbrush was invented in China. Its bristles came from hogs hair or the mane of a horse that were then put into ivory handles.



Due to the shortages of lead and metals during World War II, toothpaste was packaged in plastic tubes and have been ever since.


Top Hat

In 1797 James Hetherington invented the top hat and wore it in public. He was arrested for disturbing the peace.


Traffic Lights

Traffic lights were used before the appearance of the motorcar.



The first pick-up truck was made by Gottlieb Daimler in 1886.



The first Tupperware item marketed was the seven-ounce bathroom cup in 1945.



The tailless dinner jacket was invented in Tuxedo Park, New York. Thus it is called the "tuxedo dinner jacket" and is named after the town, not the other way around.



The typewriter was invented before the fountain pen.



U-Haul is the world's largest advertiser in the Yellow Pages.



The umbrella was invented by the Chinese in the second century B.C.


UPC Bar Code

The first product to have a UPC bar code on its packaging was Wrigley's gum.



Velcro was invented by a Swiss inventor who was inspired by the way burrs attached to clothing.



Major Radiovision of London began selling videodiscs in June 1935. Each side of a disc offered six minutes of sound and pictures, which were reproduced by means of a device linked to a primitive television set. The discs were never commercially successful.


Vending Machine

The first vending machine was invented by Hero of Alexandria around 215 BC. When a coin was dropped into a slot, its weight would pull a cork out of a spigot and the machine would dispense a trickle of water.



Ferdinand Porsche, who later went on to build sports cars bearing his own name, designed the original 1936 Volkswagen.


Vulcanized Rubber

Charles Goodyear (1800-1860), the man who developed Vulcanized Rubber and the first to produce it commercially, began his experiments in prison. In jail for debt, Goodyear started tests in his prison cell in 1834. After his release several years later, he hit upon Vulcanization quite by accident when he dropped some Rubber mixed with sulfur on a stove and noted that it did not dissolve.



* If Wal-Mart was classified as a country, it would be the 24th most productive country in the world.

* In 1962, the first Wal-Mart opened up in Rogers, Arkansas.



The watch was invented by Peter Henlein of Nuremberg, Germany in 1510.



The spray WD-40 got its name because there were forty attempts needed before the creation of the "water displacing" substance.



The Sumerians, who lived in the Middle East, invented the wheel in about 3450 BC.



The wheelbarrow was invented by the Chinese around the time of the birth of Christ.


Windshield Wipers

In 1903 Mary Anderson invented the windshield wipers.


Yellow Cab Company

In a study that was done by the University of Chicago in 1907, it was concluded that the easiest color to spot is yellow. This is why John Hertz, who is the founder of the Yellow Cab Company picked cabs to be yellow.



The Xerox company was initially called the Haloid Company.



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