February 12, 2007


And the man behind the brand is...
William Stuckey

Like so many others William Stuckey was desperately searching for a way to make a living during the Depression. In 1931 the 21-year old Stuckey borrowed $35 from his grandmother - her life savings - to peddle pecans.

Stuckey walked from house to house in his native Georgia buying nuts.
If he used up his $35 too early in the day he waited until the banks closed and wrote checks he knew he couldn’t cover. On these days he stayed out selling pecans until he could be at the bank the following morning to cover checks.

Diligently he built his pecan business this way. In 1936 he sold $150,000 worth of pecans. He opened his first candy store in Eastman, a small town in central Georgia, in 1938. Wife Ethel was the candy cook.

When World War II ended Stuckey was one of the first to recognize that Americans would become increasingly mobile. He began building distinctive pecan shops, with blue roofs and red and yellow signs, along the country’s new highways. In addition to enjoying a pecan roll weary motorists could fill up at Stuckey’s pumps as well.

In eight years Stuckey had 29 pecan shops, building his business on extensive billboard advertising. He awarded franchises to friends and employees. “A lot of people in town own interests in the stores,” he boasted at one point. “They all profited by it. There are more Cadillacs in Eastman, Georgia than in any town this size in the South, I reckon.”

Stuckey sold his business, now with 160 stores, to Pet, Inc. in 1964. He stayed with Pet as a vice-president and continued operating the highway stops until 1970 when he retired. Stuckey’s chain had grown to nearly 300 stores by then. Stuckey, a former Georgia state legislator, continued enjoying pecans until his death in 1977.


And the man behind the brand is...
Thomas Sheraton

Ernest Henderson and Robert Moore took over a failing hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts called the Continental at Depression-bargain prices in 1933.
It seems more money was leaving through the storerooms than walking through the front door. A few padlocks plugged the flow of red ink.

Henderson and Moore bought the Stonehaven Hotel and began dreaming of a chain. Their third hotel was a small residential hostelry in Boston that sported an expensive roof sign with the name in large letters. The cost of changing that electric sign might have been more than the price of the entire property so the name of the fledgling hotel chain became Sheraton.

The original Sheraton hotel was purchased deep in the Depression for $160,000. When it was sold ten years later it carried a price tag of nearly $1,000,000. The Boston Sheraton derived its name from Thomas Sheraton,
the 18th century English furniture designer. But strangely the hotel was never decorated in Sheraton's furniture - it was fitted out in a Hepplewhit motif.


And the man behind the brand is...
Nathan Handwerker

In 1916 a small rebellion was stirring at Coney Island, New York's fashionable seaside playground. It seems a couple of singing waiters by the name of Durante and Cantor did not like the idea of paying the inflated price of 10¢ for their frankfurters. They urged the young roll-slicer behind the counter to open his own stand and sell hot dogs for a nickel.

Nathan Handwerker was a Polish immigrant who had arrived penniless in New York only four years earlier when Jimmy Durante and Eddie Cantor implored him to start his own hot dog business. He was working part-time as a delivery boy for the Max's Busy Bee eatery making $4.50 a week. On Sunday afternoons he moonlighted at Coney Island dishing out Charles Feltman's famed 10-cent franks. He decided to take the advice of his show-business friends.

Handwerker took his life savings of $300 and with his new bride, Ida, opened a small open-front stand on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues. He laced his hot dogs with Ida's secret spice recipe. The nickel franks caught on immediately with the thousands of resort visitors.

Handwerker displayed a natural flair for merchandising. In 1917 competitors spread rumors that Nathan couldn't be selling quality all-beef hot dogs for only a nickel. He fought the accusations by hiring a group of college students to stand around his counter wearing white professional jackets with stethoscopes dangling from their pockets. Word spread that doctors from Coney Island Hospital were taking their meals at Nathan's hot dog stand. The crisis passed.

Customers could always find pretty girls behind Nathan's counters.
Clara Bowtinelli, a gregarious redheaded teenager, served up franks for a short time until one of her customers whisked her away to Hollywood. She would resurface as Clara Bow, one of the most glamorous of all silent film stars.

In 1921 Handwerker finally christened his nameless stand "Nathan's Hot Dogs" after hearing Sophie Tucker perform the hit song "Nathan, Nathan, Why You Waitin'?" Handwerker built Nathan's Famous into the largest hot dog stand in the world, acquiring surrounding property as it grew and expanded.

In 1923 the New York subway reached out to Coney Island and thousands of people streamed off trains from the massive Stillwell terminal and headed for Nathan's across the street. Nathan's became a New York institution. President Rockefeller entertained at Hyde Park with Nathan's "red hots". Nelson Rockefeller told Handwerker during a campaign stop that, "No one can hope to be elected to public office in New York without having his picture taken eating a hot dog at Nathan's."

Nathan's had three restaurants when the company went public in 1968.
The chain of fast food restaurants was quickly expanding when Handwerker semi-retired in 1972. He died two years later at the age of 83 as history's most famous purveyor of hot dogs.


And the men behind the brand are...
Maurice McDonald and Richard McDonald

By 1954 Ray Kroc was 52 years old. He had finally erased years of debt and struggle by selling Multimixers for milk shakes. He had even achieved a modest prosperity, buying a home in Arlington Heights, Illinois, one of Chicago's poshest suburbs.

One day Kroc received an order for eight Multimixers from a hamburger stand in San Bernadino, California. What was this? Each Multimixer had a capacity for six milkshakes. Kroc wanted to see for himself an operation that needed to make 48 milkshakes at one time.

The McDonald’s hamburger stand was run by Maurice "Mac" McDonald and his brother Richard. They had come to California from New Hampshire in 1928 to work in movies, a calling particularly ill-suited to their dour personalities.
The McDonalds wound up managing a movie theater in Glendora instead.

They sold the theater in 1940 to open a hamburger stand in Pasadena.
For eight years the McDonalds worked out their ideas for a self-service food operation, mostly to eliminate the groups of teenagers that hung around the restaurant. On December 12, 1948 they were ready to test their ideas at a new location in San Bernadino.

San Bernadino, 55 miles east of Los Angeles, was the terminus for famed
Route 66. The town was in the center of post-war prosperity and the exploding automobile mentality. C-rations from World War II had also inoculated less discerning American diners with a homogenized diet.

The McDonald brothers devised an ideal food service operation for the new times. They sliced the menu to only four items: a hamburger with condiments already added that they sold for 15¢, crisp french fries warmed with innovative infrared heat lamps, soft drinks and a 12-ounce milk shake.

Everything the McDonalds did emphasized value, efficiency and speed.
There were no plates, no dishes, no condiments. The brothers were frugal and obsessed with cleanliness. Every part of their restaurant sparkled.
When Ray Kroc arrived with his Multimixers he was astounded:
"They had people standing in line clamoring for hamburgers.
I figured that if every McDonald hamburger place had eight Multimixers,
I would get rich."

Kroc was not the first to be impressed by the McDonalds' operation.
The brothers had cautiously sold six franchises in California but had no interest in growing larger. "More stores, more problems," they told Kroc. They pointed to a nearby hill where Mac, a bachelor, and Dick lived. Their houses and three Cadillacs, one for Dick's wife, were all the McDonalds needed.

The brothers were conservative and suspicious of quick money. Only months before Kroc arrived in 1954 they had turned down another big chain offer.
Neither was interested in Kroc's talk of nationwide franchises. Kroc persisted. Finally he left San Bernadino with a 99-year contract to represent McDonalds exclusively.

The arrangement would not last nearly that long. The taciturn brothers increasingly imposed restrictions on the franchises that Kroc found totally unacceptable. In 1960 he offered $500,000 for everything - trademarks,
the Golden Arches, the name. Dick and Mac countered with $2,700,000 - a figure they had arrived at that would yield each of them a million dollars after taxes.

Kroc was flabbergasted. The only financing he could obtain would eventually cost him $14,000,000 to buy out the McDonalds, which, of course, was still a bargain. The brothers had one more surprise as the final papers were signed - they intended to keep their cherished San Bernadino store.

Kroc did not want to lose the money-churning flagship store but wasn't about to blow the deal over it. Rather he built a gleaming new restaurant directly across the street. It was an exact replica of the brothers' restaurant which they had to re-name "Big M." Soon Mac and Dick McDonald were out of business.

The brothers travelled and returned to Bedford, New Hampshire where they lived out their lives in obscurity as their name became the most famous cultural icon in America.


And the man behind the brand is...
Bill Marriott

The Marriott name is known for its hotels and resorts but it began as, and still primarily is, a food business. John Willard Marriott, known as Bill, was born in 1900. He grew up on the Utah range raising beets, herding sheep and serving the Mormon church. He gained a measure of renown around Ogden when, at the age of 14, he shot two brown bears in one day.

Marriott worked his way through the University of Utah selling woolen sweaters and long underwear in logging camps in the Northwest and when he graduated in 1927 he was ready for his own business. He became intrigued with a root beer he enjoyed during hot summer Utah days. Marriott would drive up to the curb and a waitress would bring out ice-cold mugs of 5¢ root beer to the car.

He learned that a man named Allen and a man named Wright had started
A & W Root Beer a few years earlier in Sacramento, selling only ice-cold root beer at their drive-ins. In the summer a good stand was averaging 5000 mugs a day. So Bill Marriott decided to stake his future to root beer.

He had become enamored with Washington, D.C. during a Mormon mission back east and that was where Marriott headed for his franchise. He leased eight feet of frontage from a baker and opened a nine-seat root beer stand on May 20, 1927 - the same day Lindbergh took off for Europe. Marriott placed a small radio of the countertop and prospective root beer buyers gathered round to hear the progress of America’s greatest aviator.

Inevitably Washington’s torrid summers give way to chilly winters. Obviously demand for ice-cold root beer would fall off. A & W franchises were required to sell only root beer but Marriott flew to Sacramento to obtain a special dispensation to include food on his menu. He didn’t want standard burgers and franks but opted for Mexican food, a specialty from home not often enjoyed in the nation’s capital.

When the heavily spiced chili and tamales and barbecued beef debuted Marriott called his new restaurant “Hot Shoppe;” hot food with a touch of English affectation. The new restaurant was a hit and Marriott barely waited for the cash register to fill before opening a second Hot Shoppe. Soon there was a chain of medium-priced family restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area. Marriott waited for the Depression to slow his business but it never did.

Marriott worked non-stop but he was never more diligent than in selecting new sites for his restaurants. He opened a Hot Shoppe out by the Hoover Airport and noticed a trade had developed in passengers and crew taking out food for their flights. In 1937 Marriott started boxing lunches of ham or chicken sandwiches, a small carton of slaw, a frosted cupcake and an apple for Eastern airlines.
“Sky girls” served the first airline food along with hot coffee in thermos jugs.

Marriott’s catering business soon picked up government cafeterias and entered the hospital food service market as well. Bill Marriott had been in the food service business for 30 years when he opened his first hotel in Arlington, Virginia in 1957. Over the next few years, Marriott continued to open hotels as well as Hot Shoppes restaurants.

By 1964 Marriott was ready to slow down. Physically he had survived Hodgkins Disease, battled chronic nervous exhaustion and weathered several heart attacks. While maintaining nominal control of the business he turned daily operations over to his son Bill Jr.

It was hard to let go but Marriott could reflect back on the time his father had entrusted him with a herd of sheep to take to San Francisco on his own at the tender age of 14. His son was no less successful. By the time he succeeded his father as Chief Executive Officer in 1972 Bill Jr. had quadrupled the size of the company. Marriott Corporation now owned the Big-Boy restaurant chain and started the Roy Rogers fast food chain.

The elder Marriott invested his time in the Republican party, entertaining political luminaries on his ranch in northern Virginia. He died at age 84 at his New Hampshire summer home. The business he started by selling root beer for a nickel was grossing $4 billion a year.

Howard Johnson's

And the man behind the brand is...
Howard Johnson

“I’ve spent my life developing scores of flavors,” Howard Johnson once lamented, “and yet most people still say, ‘I’ll take vanilla.’”

Howard Dearing Johnson was born in 1897, the son of a tobacco merchant.
He entered the retail business shortly after from France and World War I.
His father died and he inherited the cigar-store business, then heavily in debt. Johnson continued to sell cigars until 1924 when he liquidated the business and bought a run-down drugstore near the railroad station in his hometown of Wollaston, Massachusetts. He went from owing $10,000 to owing nearly $30,000.

The small patent medicine store featured a soda fountain, a candy and tobacco counter and a newspaper stand. Johnson resurrected the business with the newspapers, organizing a staff of 75 boys delivering the news. Within a few years his newspapers had made his business prosperous. But it was ice cream that was his first love. He had only three flavors - vanilla, chocolate and strawberry - and he thought a wider variety of flavors and a better quality ice cream were the keys to success.

Johnson bought an ice cream recipe from an elderly German pushcart vendor whose wares appealed to him. He paid $300 for the peddler’s secrets: doubling the butterfat content of his ice cream and to use only natural flavorings.
To expand his product line Johnson used an old-fashioned freezer in the basement, hand-cranking the ice cream.

He was right. The customers began queuing up for his 28 flavors of ice cream. By 1928 Johnson was pulling in nearly a quarter million dollars a year from ice cream sold in his shop and at several nearby beach stands. He added frankfurters and other easily prepared foods and gravitated towards restaurants in 1929. Within seven years Johnson had peppered 25 restaurants along Massachusetts highways.

He then persuaded a yacht captain on Cape Cod to build a restaurant, call it Howard Johnson’s, paint it blue with a bright orange roof, and sell products Johnson would supply. Johnson also trained the new owner. The venture made money from the start. Howard Johnson had pioneered the art of restaurant franchising.

Johnson next developed the concept of convenience food. He maintained control over the food served in his franchises by preparing the food and processing it in centrally located company-operated plants where it was shipped to restaurants for final preparation and cooking. Johnson insisted that the food be plain, simple, wholesome American fare.

To make sure that the ice cream and food sold in the restaurants that bore his name remained at high quality Johnson spent two days a week on inspection tours. He arrived unannounced and unrecognized, on the lookout for everything from dirty restrooms to sassy waitresses.

The ubiquitous orange-roofed restaurants beget motor lodges designed for the vacationing post-World War II family. The first Howard Johnson’s motel franchise opened in Savannah, Georgia in 1954, five years before Johnson turned the company over to his son. Even in retirement Johnson continued to scout for new restaurant and motel sites.

The entire time Johnson was building a $200,000,000-a-year business he never lost his taste for the ice cream that made him famous. It was his favorite dish. He kept at least 10 flavors in the freezers of his Manhattan penthouse. Every day of his life Howard Johnson enjoyed at least one ice cream cone.


And the man behind the brand is...
Conrad Hilton

The first Hilton hotel was set up by Conrad Hilton in his family’s adobe home in
San Antonio, New Mexico in 1907. Business reversals in his father’s general store necessitated the conversion of six of the rooms in the house into quarters for transient lodgers. Hilton, then 19, worked all day in the store and went to the train station at 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. to meet the train and solicit guests. Room and board was $2.50 a day.

Slowly the Hilton family’s financial health was restored. By 1912 Hilton became interested in politics, winning a position in the state legislature just when the New Mexico Territory was accepted into statehood. He introduced nine bills which became New Mexico law but on balance found politics confining and frustrating. He came back home after two years.

Hilton decided San Antonio needed a bank. He organized a syndicate to establish the town’s first bank but the shareholders rewarded him by electing an aged former banker from Illinois as president and made Conrad Hilton a cashier. He began maneuvering for control of the bank. It wasn’t much of a bank,
but he had started it.

Hilton wrested control of the bank from the board of directors but there wasn’t much time to savor the victory. He wore out hot, dusty Texas roads tracking down new depositors and then World War I shattered his plans for a garland of New Mexico banks. Hilton was off to France to serve in the Army.

In 1919, following the death of his father in an automobile accident, Hilton returned from the army. He left for Cisco, Texas looking to buy an interest in a bank. When the slow pace of negotiations forced him to stay overnight he found all the hotels in town overbooked. Instead of a bank Hilton wound up making a deal for a hotel, the 40-room Mobley Hotel.

It didn’t take Hilton long to become a hotel man. He surveyed every inch of The Mobley to eliminate non-revenue generating space. He sawed the front desk in half and added a shop; he ripped out the dining room a nd spaced it off into bedrooms; he rented his own bed and slept on a leather chair in his office.

A few months later he purchased the Melba in Fort Worth, and in 1920 he added the 140-room Waldorf in Dallas. In 1925 Hilton committed himself to building a million-dollar hotel in Dallas, the first hotel to carry his name.
When the Depression hit Hilton controlled eight hotels. It was too much.

In 1931 Hilton defaulted on a $300,000 loan. His creditors hired him to manage his lost hotels but it was a turbulent business marriage. Nine months
later the business arrangement disintegrated into legal matters. Hilton eventually emerged from the Depression with five of his eight hotels; by 1937 he was free of debt.

Hilton began in earnest to take advantage of depressed hotel properties.
In the next few years he took control of the Sir Francis Drake in San Francisco,
the Town House in Los Angeles, the Roosevelt and Plaza in New York and the Stevens and Palmer House in Chicago. In 1946 the Hilton Hotels Corporation was formed, the first hotel company to have its stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Hilton cherished tradition. With each of these great houses he recognized an obligation to retain the atmosphere and individuality which gave it its prestige.
In 1949 he realized a life-long dream with the purchase of the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, America’s greatest hotel. In 1954 Hilton executed the largest hotel merger in history, purchasing the Statler hotel chain for $111,000,000.
Hilton clinched the deal by pleading with the widow Statler to keep the great
hotels in “the hands of hotel people.”

Hilton turned the presidency of Hilton Hotels over to his son, Barron, in 1966. The next year Barron Hilton persuaded his father to swap his Hilton International stock for TWA stock. The stock plummeted by half in the next 18 months and the 80-year old Hilton lost the rights to his name overseas.

Conrad Hilton became the world’s premier hotelier by acquiring America’s most prestigious hotels. Only a handful ever carried his name. He assiduously avoided resort hotels and eschewed gambling houses. But under his son the Hilton name was franchised and the Las Vegas Hilton and Flamingo Hilton were purchased. When Conrad Hilton died in 1979 at the age of 91 the hotel-casinos were responsible for nearly 40¢ of every $1.00 Hilton profit. The business he had built proudly on the grandest hotel rooms in the world was being supported by roulette wheels and blackjack tables.

Famous Amos

And the man behind the brand is...
Wallace Amos

According to Wallace Amos he was sitting in his friend Marvin Gaye's office talking to his secretary while they munched on some of his homemade chocolate chip cookies. At the same time Amos was chewing on his future in the entertainment business. "Why don't we go into business together selling your chocolate chip cookies?" she suggested. And the first celebrity cookies were born.

Wallace Amos was born to illiterate parents in a black ghetto of Tallahassee in 1936. In 1948 his parents divorced and Wallace and his mother went to Orlando where he stayed only a short time before going to live with his aunt in New York City.

Amos worked part-time through school while dodging street gangs. When a school recruiter told him that "cooks make a lot of money" Amos enrolled in Food Trades Vocational High School. He was assigned to the pantry at the Essex House but became discouraged at only making desserts and dropped out of school.

For the first time Amos drifted. He gambled away his aunt's utility payments and lived on the streets. When he finally returned home the 17-year old Amos convinced his aunt to sign papers allowing him to join the Air Corps where he learned to repair radar and radio equipment.

After his tour of duty Amos came back to New York and worked as a stock clerk at Saks while attending the Collegiate Secretarial Institute. Working hard, he was promoted to an executive position at Saks and was sent to New York University to take retailing courses. Amos found math so troublesome he quit rather than try to be a buyer. He was 25 years old.

Amos next landed a job in the mail room at the William Morris Talent Agency and filling in as a substitute secretary. Again he worked hard and was promoted to become the first black agent at William Morris. Amos found success booking musical acts including the Supremes, the Temptations and Simon and Garfunkel.

By 1967 Amos felt burned out and out of touch with the coming of acid rock in the music business. But more importantly he felt he had gone as far as he could go as a black man at William Morris. He left to manage trumpeter Hugh Maskela but the relationship ended quickly. Amos had bounced from one entertainment job to another when he went to see his friend Gaye.

Amos thought it was a terrific idea to sell cookies but he didn't have any money. He turned to his friends in the entertainment industry. Helen Reddy pledged $10,000 if he found other investors. Herb Alpert chipped in $5,000 and Marvin Gaye clinched the venture with another $10,000. The pivotal secretary suggested the name "Famous Amos" and he called his product the "superstar of cookies."

Amos set up shop at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Formosa Avenue,
a most unsavory location. Next door was the Exotica School of Message emblazoned with the sign screaming "Sindy's Nude, Nude, Nude Girls, Girls, Girls." Across the street was the American School of Hypnosis.

Wallace Amos was a natural showman. He donned a white Panama hat and set out to make his store opening a true Hollywood happening. He sent out 2500 invitations. Over 1500 showed up, including many celebrities who sipped champagne and enjoyed a strolling Dixieland band.

He promoted cookies like rock stars. When celebrities enjoyed his cookies he made certain the Los Angeles papers wrote about it. A friend took some cookies to Bloomingdale's in New York and they agreed to carry the "jet-set cookies."
So did Nieman-Marcus. Amos set up a factory in New Jersey to help meet demand.

In 1977 he left Bloomingdale's for the basement at Macy's with the proviso he could appear in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. For four years Amos marched in front of 20 million viewers becoming a media star himself. By 1979 his factories were baking over three tons of homemade cookies every day. His first store was featured on the Grayline Sightseeing Bus Tour of Hollywood.

As the company grew Amos became less involved in the mundane everyday operations. He moved to Hawaii, further removing himself from the demands of the business. He neglected to franchise the stores, owning only eight.
Other competitors bit into the gourmet cookie market and by 1985 Amos
had to sell all but 8% of the company to private investors.

Amos was not troubled by his shift in fortunes. "I started the cookie business just to make a living and that's still all I'm concerned with," he said. Although not running the business he was still a popular spokesman for Famous Amos and an important campaigner for the literacy Volunteers of America. When the Smithsonian Institute displayed a Business Americana Collection they asked for Amos' trademark embroidered shirt and Panama hat. His was the first food company and he was the first black businessman to be represented.

Colonel Sanders

And the man behind the brand is...
Harlan Sanders

For half of his working life Harland Sanders made his way as a street car conductor, railroad fireman and insurance salesman, to name just a few of the jobs he tried. In 1930, at the age of 40, Sanders started cooking chicken in a small restaurant in the rear of a service station he operated in Corbin, Kentucky.

Here he perfected his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices, seasonings he claimed stood on everybody’s shelf, to flavor his chicken. The ingredients are still used in Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken today and are still a secret,
even from franchisees. In 1935 Kentucky Governor Ruby Lafoon named Sanders an honorary Colonel for his contribution to the state’s cuisine.

For a quarter-century Sanders prospered. Then in the mid-1950s a new interstate highway was planned that would bypass Corbin and his restaurant. Sanders was now 66 years old, an age when many business owners would retire and watch cars speed past his old restaurant.

But the Colonel auctioned off his operations and hit the road to display his patented pressure cooker and sell his fried chicken cooking process. He signed up only five restaurants in the first two years. Still he persevered. In two more years he had sold 200 franchises. Over the next decade Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken would become famous the world over.

In Japan the Colonel, with his white hair, white goatee, black string tie and double-breasted suit, is the most recognizable of all Americans. A life-size statue stands outside of everyone of the Colonel’s restaurants in Japan. The Colonel traveled more than 250,000 miles a year promoting his chicken.

In 1964 Sanders sold his interest in Kentucky Fried Chicken for $2,000,000 but remained active promoting his chicken and starring in folksy commercials until his death in 1980 at the age of 90. In honor of his achievements his body lay in state in the rotunda of the State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky. His chicken was being sold in more than 8000 outlets in 60 countries.

Baskin & Robbins

And the men behind the brand are...
Burton Baskin & Irvine Robbins

Irvine Robbins grew up on his father’s dairy farm outside Tacoma, Washington. He helped process and sell the milk, ice cream and other products. When it came time to count up the profits each month Irvine saw that the real profits were not coming in selling to groceries and drugstores but from sales made from the family’s little store in a Tacoma alley known as “Court C.”

With the end of World War II Robbins remembered his lessons from the farm and set up his own ice cream shop. Robbins, then 27, opened the Snowbird ice cream store in Glendale, California. Down the road in Pasadena his brother-in-law Burton Baskin started another store in 1946. The goal was to make $75 a week and have some fun.

The early years forged the business philosophy that would weld into Baskin-Robbins when the two became partners shortly thereafter:
sell nothing but ice cream and offer a vast array of fun-to-choose flavors. Baskin-Robbins sold nothing but ice cream and sold it only in their shops.
And they sold it even in the winter.

Soon there were eight stores and sales were booming but the partners had no money. They decided to sell the stores to the managers; the company would supply the ice cream and merchandising ideas. The formula worked. Baskin and Robbins collected the payments and concentrated on the ice cream.

Baskin and Robbins inaugurated a rotating stable of 31 flavors, one for each day of the month. They had hundreds of exotic flavors to choose from.
The names were as appealing as the flavors. When the Dodgers arrived in Los Angeles from Brooklyn in 1958 they were welcomed by baseball-nut ice cream: raspberries (for “razzing” the umpires) and cashews (for peanuts in the bleachers) mixed into vanilla (the all-time winning flavor). Lunar cheesecake ice cream commemorated the first moon landing in 1969.

All flavors were subject to a test panel. Not all flavors survived the scrutiny. Goody Goody Gumdrop - a seemingly ideal Baskin-Robbins fun combination of gum drops and ice cream - was withdrawn because of its tiny tooth-threatening frozen gumdrops. Ketchup ice cream and lox and bagels were allowed to quietly melt in the lab.

In 1967 Baskin and Robbins sold their company for $20,000,000.
Burton Baskin died suddenly only six months later but Robbins carried on with the business. When Baskin-Robbins’s 31 Flavors celebrated its 31st birthday in 1976 the 1600 stores had a flavorful roster of over 500 flavors to choose from.


And the man behind the brand is...
Ignaz Schwinn

Ignaz Schwinn was born in 1860 in the little town of Hardheim in the province of Baden, Germany. His father, the owner of a thriving piano factory, died when Ignaz was eleven, curtailing his formal schooling. He apprenticed to a machinist where he turned out to be a gifted mechanic.

Like most young men of the age Schwinn was fascinated with the “wonder of the age,” the high wheel bicycle. Seeking work he moved from town to town working on bicycles and bicycle parts whenever he could find the opportunity.
In northern Germany he studied the new “Safety” bicycles imported from England.

Technology was advancing rapidly with the new bicycles and many people, conservative villagers, were slow to respond to the “Safety” bicycles. Schwinn was enthusiastic, however, and purchased a drawing board where he could work out his own bicycle designs at night after his regular job. He showed his designs to Heinrich Kleyer, a bicycle maker and customer of Schwinn’s machine shop.
Kleyer was impressed and hired Schwinn to design and manufacture bicycles. These were some of the very first “Safety” bicycles produced in Germany.

Desiring to participate in the fast-moving technological advances occurring in America Schwinn scraped together the funds to come to Chicago and the great World’s Fair in the early 1890s. He worked around town designing bicycles and planning bicycle factories when he teamed with Adolf Arnold in 1895 to form Arnold, Schwinn & Company.

Schwinn designed the product and the tools to make it, selected machinery
and equipment, engaged the personnel and set up the factory. Annual production estimates at the time were set at approximately 25,000 units. Schwinn’s bicycles proved exceedingly popular and Arnold’s superior business ability gave the business a solid foundation.

In 1908, after several expansions, Schwinn bought the interests of his partner and became sole owner. Schwinn consistently brought design innovations to the bicycle industry. He sponsored bicycle racing which accelerated the development of high performance parts that provided increasing value to consumer bikes.

During World War II Schwinn, then in his eighties, devoted all his time,
energy and resources to the production of war materials, as he had in 1917.
For his efforts Schwinn & Company was awarded the Army and Navy “E” for excellence of its war production performance. Devoted, as always, to the production of his bicycles Schwinn visited the plant every day until his death in 1948.

Rand McNally

And the men behind the brand are...
William Rand and Andrew McNally

William Rand learned his printing in the eastern United States; Andrew McNally learned his printing in Ireland. They teamed up in frontier Chicago in 1858, announcing "every description of printing on the most advantageous terms."

That first decade the two men decided to concentrate their printing and publishing efforts in the field of transportation. The first sales division of the fledgling firm was railroad printing. Railroads went into places before cities and people needed tickets to get there so the young printers found plenty of customers. They published literary works on railroad timetables to give riders something to read on the train.

In 1868, the year the firm officially became Rand McNally & Company,
Chicago was rapidly becoming the unofficial printing and engraving capital of the nation. Rand McNally published its first book in 1870, The Business Directory of Chicago for 1870-1871, and the following year brought out the first edition of the "Western Railway Guide." The "Guide" was a monthly periodical listing the latest timetables of various railway and steamboat lines.

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 devastated the city. As flames licked the doors of their offices Rand and McNally ran a relay race to safety with two ticket printing machines. Rand hauled them to McNally's stable three miles away and McNally carted the machines to the shore of Lake Michigan where he dumped them in the sand.

Three days later they were back in business in rented space.

In 1872 Rand McNally took out a small advertisement announcing its entry into the map engraving field. The huge growth of railroads had created a tremendous demand for maps. There were many other map manufacturers at the time but Rand McNally innovated modern methods of engraving in wax to accelerate correction work. This single technique was responsible for their emergence
in the map field. Rand McNally was able to draft and correct maps at a fraction
of previous costs.

Railroad maps were given away by the thousands to promote train travel,
many railroads distorting their own routes to display their superiority over rival lines. Rand McNally printed many maps in Swedish and Norwegian which no doubt contributed to the Scandanavian settling of the west.

In 1876 Rand McNally published its first Business Atlas which became the backbone of the firm's dominant map business. Rand retired from the business in 1899 and McNally died in 1904, just as the country's demand for road maps would indelibly stamp their names on American travel.


And the man behind the brand is...
Frank Phillips

In February 1905 Frank Phillips and his younger brother Lee Eldas, always called L.E., drilled their first oil well. They had spent the last two years tirelessly selling shares in the Anchor Oil & Gas Company to raise operating revenues. The Phillips’ first wildcatting venture was under way.

And on June 23 they struck oil!

Their jubilation was short lived. There proved to be only a small pocket of oil and the well soon fizzled. Hole #2 came up dry; so did #3. Now there was barely enough money to try a fourth well. If this didn’t come in what would Frank Phillips, now 32, do?

He had started as an apprentice barber at the age of 14. With a naturally engaging personality Phillips was soon able to buy his own shop and by the age
of 24 he owned all three barber shops in Creston, Iowa. One of his regular customers was the banker upstairs at the Iowa State Savings Bank.
Their relationship blossomed and soon Phillips was married to his daughter
and selling his bonds in Chicago and New England.

Returning from a sales trip Phillips ran into a friend who had been doing missionary work in the Indian territory in Oklahoma. The man reported that
there were tremendous oil possibilities lurking in Oklahoma. And so Frank Phillips, former barber and bond salesman, found himself in the wilds of the Indian territory staking his future on a hole in the ground.

Well #4 was named Anna Anderson for the young Delaware Indian girl from whom the lease was obtained down in the juncture of the Big and Little Caney Rivers, some 3 1/2 miles north of Bartlesville. Phillips had no fancy geology reports to guide him; he selected Anna Anderson because it was the closest
spot to a producing well he could find.

On September 6, 1905 Anna Anderson gushed in - 250 barrels worth a day. The Phillips brothers embarked on a string of 81 consecutive producing wells.
They formed numerous small oil companies to back these drilling ventures and used their profits to start a bank. Deep down what Frank Phillips really wanted was to be a big time banker.

In 1916 the brothers decided the boom and bust oil game was not for them. They opened a bank in Kansas City with a dream of starting a chain of midwestern banks. But World War I intervened, sending oil prices soaring from 40¢ to $1.00
a barrel. The bank plan was put on hold and all their holdings were consolidated into the Phillips Petroleum Company in 1917.

From the beginning, the Phillips brothers found much natural gas while drilling for oil. At the time, without pipelines and distribution systems, most drillers regarded gas as a nuisance and flared it off at the wellhead. But the Phillips sought to tap the gas by extracting liquid products from it. In shot time Phillips Petroleum was the largest producer of these by-products, which could be used in motor fuels.

Frank Phillips’ greatest attribute turned out to be attracting loans and investors to a small, unknown Oklahoma oil company. In New York financial markets backing such a venture was regarded as pure gambling. In 1919 alone Phillips spent 116 days in New York City. He attracted enough money that the company had 900 wells in production by 1921. After ten years in business Phillips Petroleum assets soared from $3 million to $266 million.

In 1927 Phillips decided to enter the gasoline retail business.
For months company officials puzzled over a trade symbol for their
new gasoline. Marketing people were leaning toward the current fad of
combining a numeral with a word or two. The first gas station was
scheduled to open on November 19 and still no name had been tapped.

A special executive meeting was called for the sole purpose of settling
the question of a trademark.
On the eve of the meeting a Phillips official was road-testing the new gasoline. “This car goes like 60 on our new gas,” he exclaimed.

“Sixty nothing,” roared the driver, glancing at the speedometer, “we’re
doing 66.” The incident took place on Highway 66 out of Tulsa. That clinched it.
“Phillips 66” would be the brand name. A now defunct premium grade was tagged “Phillips 77.”

The first station opened in Wichita, Kansas, placing Phillips in direct competition with the industry giants. To help boost sales a manager proposed a promotion idea to Phillips: fill up once and get a coupon for 10 free gallons next visit.
His reply befitted a man who had never bothered to learn to drive and was selling gas for 17¢ a gallon. “Sure, go ahead,” he said, “It isn’t worth as much as water anyway. Give ‘em all you want.”

By 1930 there were 6750 dark green, orange and blue Phillips outlets in
12 states. Elsewhere Phillips was building up its aviation fuel business.
The Depression dealt Phillips Petroleum hard as stock prices plunged from $32
to $3 and hundreds of employees were laid off. Frank Phillips quickly restored profitability and had sufficiently weathered the crisis to turn over the presidency
in 1938.

Phillips remained as chairman until 1949, the year before his death. He had built one of the largest oil companies in the United states but he left his successors a special challenge. Always opposed to overseas ventures he had turned down exclusive rights to mideast oil tracts in 1947. Future Phillips Petroleum leaders were forced to play catch up in developing international sources of oil.
There weren’t any places left in the United States where you could drill 81
straight gushers.


And the man behind the brand is...
Edouard Michelin

In 1889 a French cyclist arrived in the workshop of the Michelin et Compagnie rubber works asking for a repair of his punctured Dunlop tire. Edouard Michelin labored for three hours to repair the curious new tire and still the repair didn’t hold. But when he tested it the air-inflated tire gave such a comfortable ride he decided to look for a way to make the troublesome tire practical.

The rubber company, founded by Edouard’s grandfather in the 1830s,
had never made tires. Belts and hoses comprised the product line of the struggling company which was on the verge of disappearing when Andre Michelin took the helm in 1886. Then 33, Andre continued to tend his picture frame and lock business and recruited his younger brother Edouard from fine arts school to help him with the rubber shop. By 1889 a rubber brake pad for horse-drawn vehicles was Michelin’s best seller.

Edouard set to work and by 1891 he had designed a detachable, pneumatic tire that was repairable in only 15 minutes, not hours. The next year it required only two minutes to fix a punctured Michelin tire. In a 1200-kilometer race a Michelin rider endured five punctures and still won by eight hours. The Michelin brothers organized another race and surreptitiously scattered nails across the route.
The unwary riders suffered 244 punctures but proved how easily repairs were made with Michelin tires. In 1893 10,000 Michelins were sold.

In 1894 the Michelin tire was adapted for horse-drawn Parisien cabs.
The improved ride on the five test cabs produced so much extra business other drivers sabotaged the tires. Soon 600 Paris cabs were outfitted with Michelins.

1895 saw Michelin introduce the first pneumatic automobile tire. The Michelin brothers themselves drove Eclair, meaning “forked lightning,” in a June race that year. Only nine of the 19 competitors finished the 1209 kilometer race in the allotted 100 hours. Eclair was one, the first of many Michelin racing triumphs.

Approaching a new century the tire business was intense; France alone sported 150 manufacturers. A strong brand image was crucial and Michelin came up with one of the best of all time. The Michelin Man, a rotund figure composed of tires, bounded onto the advertising scene in 1898.

Another Michelin institution was born in 1900 with the publishing of the first Michelin travel guide, the Guide Rouge. Distributed free, the journey planning advice and hotel listings were liberally spiced with tire information.
By the end of the decade guides were available for Europe, North Africa and Egypt. In 1910 the company published the first road maps of France designed for motorists.

The Michelin brothers were constantly on the lookout for new markets and applications for their tires. The English market opened in 1905, the Italian in
1906 - years later when Michelin became the world’s leading tire manufacturer France would account for less than one sale in six.

The Michelins sponsored an early aviation contest, designing a difficult course culminating with a dangerous landing on a mountain peak in quest of a hefty cash prize. Cynics accused the brothers of setting an impossible task for the sake of publicity, but the prize was won in 1911, on the third anniversary of its creation.

The Michelin commitment to aeronautics continued in World War I.
One hundred bombers for the French air force were supplied free and another 1800 were built at cost. The post-war years brought a surge in motorized traffic and Michelin grew apace. Michelin was in the forefront of road numbering and signposting throughout France.

Andre and Edouard Michelin guided the company, now focused entirely on tires, until they died, Andre in 1931 at the age of 78 and Edouard in 1940 at 81.
The family was torn asunder by the German occupation of france in World War II but emerged with Michelin under family control, as it remains today.


And the man behind the brand is...
Leon Hess

Leon Hess was born to Lithuanian parents in Asbury Park, New Jersey in 1914.
In 1925 after twenty years of kosher butchering his father Mores quit to deliver fuel to homes in the beachside town. The Depression killed what little business Mores had built up over the years. Leon's two older brothers and sister attended college but there was no money left for him. Leon Hess got the struggling oil business.

In 1933 that business was a single room in an old building in Asbury Park and an over-mortgaged and undersized truck. Hess drove across bumpy pine-draped roads selling oil and coal by day and delivering on his return trip at night. The coal would soon be dropped from his tiny product line - literally. "I was basically lazy. I didn't want to carry 100-pound bags of coal," he said.

In the late 1930s Hess began to focus his meager resources on residual fuel - the tarry, gunky ooze that remained after refining. The sludge was useful only in massive boilers maintained by public utilities. From his attempts at peddling coal Hess knew oil was replacing coal at power plants and residual oil would become more profitable.

Residual oil had to be transported hot to keep it flowing; if it cooled it became the consistency of a newly tarred street in summer. Hess built a successful fleet of specially designed tankers to deliver the residual oil. He began shipping to distant markets and came in low bid on several federal contracts, submitting the only handwritten bids.

In World War II Hess left the business with his brother Henry and went to battle as petroleum supply officer under General George Patton. He earned a bronze star, the rank of major and invaluable experience in running a large organization efficiently.

He applied his lessons to his oil business which steadily expanded. Hess trucks were soon seen as far away as upstate New York. He began importing residual oil and Hess oil generated the electricity in 75% of New Jersey by the late 1940s.
In 1958 Hess built his first refinery and two years later he marketed gasoline under his own name.

Hess built his business on business no one else wanted; now he was in the business everyone wanted.

He competed on price. He refused to comply with an agreement signed by other New Jersey stations to keep gas priced above a minimum price.
He built huge stations to pump gas only, leaving repair business to others.
His refinery was close to his stations so the pennies saved in distribution were slashed off his gas prices. Hess grew from 28 stations in 1961 to 500 in twenty years across the Northeast.

By the mid-1960s Hess Oil was profitable but he had no crude production, leaving him in a precarious position if his supply disappeared. After prolonged financial maneuvering and at considerable risk Hess took control of Amerada Petroleum in 1969.

At the same time Hess undertook the building of the world's largest refinery in the Virgin Islands, a United States territory not fully answerable to American law. Hess used political connections made by his father-in-law, a former attorney general of New Jersey, to pull off the deal. The refinery cost $600,000,000 and eventually produced 700,000 barrels a day.

Hess Oil was now steeply leveraged but the Arab oil embargo paid off Hess' gamble. His fortunes continued to vacillate with the fortunes of the oil market but Hess, the owner of the New York Jets and a tyrannical but trustworthy businessman, had built his company into the country's 17th largest oil producer.


And the man behind the brand is...
John Hertz

John Hertz left his fingerprints on nearly every facet of the early transportation industry. He started car agencies and cab companies and bus factories but the one thing he didn’t create is the business that will carry his name into the next century - Hertz Rent-A-Car.

The pioneer of auto renting was Walter Jacobs who in September of 1918,
at the age of 22, opened a car rental operation in Chicago. Starting with a dozen Model-T Fords, which he repaired and repainted himself, Jacobs expanded his operations to the point where, within five years, the business generated annual revenues of about $1 million. At this point he sold out to John Hertz who called the concern Hertz Drive-Ur-Self System.

Hertz had been in the business world since 1890 when he ran away from home at the age of 11. He ran copy for the Chicago Morning News and peddled papers for extra cash. His take each week approached $3, more than enough to cover his room and board. After a year his father, who had brought the family to Chicago from Austria six years earlier, found John and forced him to come home.
He lasted six more months and then left home for good. He was 13.

He worked long nights at the paper but the strange hours caused his health to break. Only 15, a doctor told Hertz to get out during the day and rebuild his constitution. He landed a job driving a delivery wagon and spent nights in a gym boxing, building up a respectable record against local opposition.

Hertz rejoined the journalistic world as a sportswriter for the Chicago Record but when the paper merged all the writers were fired. Hertz drifted into boxing management and developed two potential champions: Benny Yanger and Jack O’Keefe. Hertz soon had $10,000 from his boxing stable, a considerable accomplishment for the day. But his girlfriend didn’t approve of the shady boxing business and, despite its lucrative charms, Hertz left the fight game.

Through an acquaintance Hertz became a salesman for the newest novelty in Chicago: the horseless carriage. Sales were slow the first year and Hertz earned only $900. The he sold service along with the car - John Hertz was available night and day to help you with any car you bought from him. His commissions jumped to $12,000 his second year.

He quit to buy a quarter-share of a French car agency for $2000.
The horseless carriage was catching on quickly and sales topped $500,000 the first year. In 1910 his old friends at the Chicago Athletic Association contacted Hertz to operate a private cab service for its members and guests. Hertz used two of his own fleet and 8 borrowed cars to forge his infant taxi business.

Intrigued by the potential of taxis Hertz went to Europe to study the French taxi system. What he saw opened his eyes. The French utilized small, economical cars stripped of luxuries as cabs, unlike their American counterparts who typically pressed leftover touring cars into service. Cab companies linked their fortunes to local hotels, In America there were no such concessions.

But most importantly in France people simply hailed passing cabs from the curb. Int he United States passengers needed to phone for a pick-up because all taxis looked different. There were countless incidents of people piling into private cars. Hertz immediately realized he needed distinctive, standardized cabs, recognizable from a mile away. He painted his cabs yellow which he thought was easily spotted day or night.

The Yellow Cab Company, thirty cabs strong, picked up its first passengers on August 2, 1915. Hertz built short, sturdy highly maneuverable cars designed to go 300,000 miles or more. It wasn’t long before cities across the country were ordering similar cabs from Hertz. He installed receipt meters, heaters, interior lights.

With his cab business booming Hertz turned his attention to buses.
He engineered a merger with the Chicago Motor Coach Company and built sleek new buses as the Yellow Coach Manufacturing Company. A year later he added the rental car business to his transportation dynasty, establishing the first coast-to-coast network by 1925.

In 1925 the Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company was merged with General Motors in a $16,000,000 deal by which Yellow Cab was tabbed to build the corporations trucks. Hertz Drive Ur-Self was included in the merger, to remain a part of General Motors until 1953. John Hertz became Chairman of the board of the Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company.

Approaching 50, Hertz loosened his ties to the transportation industry.
He became a partner in Lehman Brothers in 1934, a position he would hold with the investment banking firm until his death some thirty years later.
Away from the office Hertz built one of America’s most renowned
racing stables featuring the fabled 1943 Triple Crown winner, Count Fleet.

When finally felled by ailing health in 1961, after more than 70 years in business, the Hertz Corporation operated more than 1700 drive-yourself stations in 1,000 cities and forty-six foreign countries.


And the man behind the brand is...
Charles Goodyear

In 1898 Frank A. Seibering was nearly insolvent. His family had started and operated several Akron enterprises including flour milling, oatmeal production, banking, real estate, the Akron Academy of Music, a rubber company, and manufacturing of strawboard, mowers and reapers. All were lost in the years of financial distress in the wake of the Panic of 1893.

Seibering was in Chicago to liquidate much of his holdings when he happened upon an Ohio business acquaintance who was looking to dispose of a seven-acre strawboard plant whose main assets were a small power plant and two dilapidated buildings facing each other on opposite banks of Akron's Little Cuyahoga River.
He had invested $140,000 in the property, he said, but was seeking only $50,000. The desperate buyer accepted Seibering's offer of $13,500.

Seibering returned to Akron wondering what he was going to do with the old plant and how he was going to pay for it. He borrowed the down payment from his brother-in-law and other relatives loaned him money to start a rubber company. He had worked around his father's Akron India Rubber Company, one of his father's businesses, so the industry was not totally unfamiliar to him.
His brother Charles, who had worked three years for India Rubber, joined him in the enterprise.

The new business was incorporated on August 29, 1898 as the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in honor of Charles Goodyear who had accidentally discovered the vulcanization of rubber in 1839 when he dropped rubber and sulphur onto his kitchen stove. Goodyear died insolvent in 1860 at the age of 60.
The company named for him would be the largest tire company in the world in only 18 years with sales exceeding $100,000,000. Every dollar invested in Goodyear in the beginning was then worth $100.


And the man behind the brand is...
Benjamin Goodrich

Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich was born in a tiny hamlet of New York called
Ripley in 1841. He was orphaned at 8 years of age and grew up with relatives.
At 17 Goodrich began studying medicine with his cousin Dr. John Spencer.
At the age of 20 Goodrich graduated from Cleveland Medical College and signed
on with the Union Army as an assistant surgeon.

Dr. Goodrich emerged from the Civil War more interested in business than medicine. He entered into a real estate partnership in New York City and soon prospered. In 1869 the partners traded $10,000 worth of real estate for stock
in a small factory in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, the Hudson River Rubber Company.

As Goodrich dug into the books of the rubber-maker it became clear to him
how financially crippled the firm was. He traded more real estate for full ownership and became president. His first step back to fiscal health was to
move the business downriver to Melrose, New York and save money on rent.

Progress was slow and Goodrich decided to break clean with New York and establish the first rubber plant west of the Alleghenies, out where there was power, transportation, fresh labor and a fast developing country. On the train west Goodrich met a stranger who spoke so glowingly of a town in Ohio called Akron that he decided to pay a visit.

While in Akron Goodrich met with business leaders and both sides were mutually impressed. One of the Akron men visited the rubber factory in Melrose and offered Goodrich a loan of $13,600 to establish his business in the small canal town of 10,000. Akron was on its way to its destiny as the Rubber Capital of the World.

On the penultimate day in 1870 Goodrich, Tew & Company bought four
lots on the Ohio Canal. At the time there were few commercial uses for rubber. Dr. Goodrich had watched helplessly as a friend's house burned to the ground when a leather hose froze and burst so his first product was a cotton-covered rubber fire hose.

The rubber company struggled financially in the beginning but the business community of Akron helped it through some rough times until sales increased.
In 1880 the business officially became the B.F. Goodrich Company as sales climbed to over $500,000 a year.

Dr. Goodrich died prematurely at age 47 in 1888 but his company had by this time established the reputation that anyone needing to solve a manufacturing problem involving rubber would go to B.F. Goodrich. In the decades to come this innovative thinking would result in a new rubber bicycle tire, automobile cord tires and even the first modern golf ball.


And the man behind the brand is...
Jean Paul Getty

In 1957 Fortune published a list of the richest American men. Atop the list, to the amazement of everybody, was not a Rockefeller, not a Ford, not a Mellon but an unknown oilman named Jean Paul Getty. The billionaire as celebrity was born.

For the first 64 years of Getty built a fortune of one billion dollars in relative obscurity. His father, a lawyer, made a fortune in the Oklahoma oil rush in the early 1900s, staked Jean Paul to explore low cost leases in the midwest.
Getty set up in a seedy $6-a-week room in Tulsa and bounced around Oklahoma in a Model-T Ford checking on prospective leases. In 1915 he capped his first well. The following May the Getty Oil Company was incorporated as a father-son venture. At the age of 23 Getty was a millionaire.

The first thing he did was quit. He bought a Cadillac V8 roadster and spent the next few years on a sybaritic binge through the southwest. In 1919, suddenly bored with the life of a playboy, he rejoined his father, just in time to exploit a new oil rush in southern California. This boom made father and son multimillionaires.

There would be no taking time off this time. Getty bought leases and drilled for oil up and down the California coast. When the stock market collapsed the acquisitive Getty expanded his holdings by buying up distressed oil company stocks. In 1930 Getty’s father died and he became president. The bulk of the senior Getty’s $10 million fortune went to his wife, then aged 78 and in poor health.

Getty immediately began a battle with his ailing mother for control of the company. Legend has it that Getty was so ruthless in his business dealings that when he discovered a well he was drilling was bottoming out on someone else’s property, he tried to sell it to his mother. When informed of the shenanigans Mrs. Getty is supposed to have replied, “What you are trying to tell me is that Paul is a crook. But he’s awfully smart, isn’t he?”

Weary of the fight Mrs. Getty finally relinquished her claim to the bulk of the Getty assets and Paul quickly set out to build a global international oil company. He set his sights on the giant Tide Water Associated Oil, quietly buying up blocks of stock. It took Getty two decades of tussling with the John D. Rockefeller cartel to wrest control of the company and its 1200 service stations. It was the major triumph of his career and gave him the nucleus for a worldwide conglomerate of some 200 companies.

While the financial wrangling was going on Getty did not stray from his wildcatting instincts. In 1949 he paid $12.5 million for the rights to prospect for oil in the Neutral Zone, a barren tract of scrub dessert between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. It was one of the few remaining areas in the Middle East unexploited by oilmen. After nearly four years of dry holes Getty struck oil with a last do-or-die drilling. By 1955 Getty had 55 producing wells in the Neutral Zone; his wealth doubled.

With his unveiling as America’s richest man the public clamored for details on Getty’s life. There was plenty to titillate the curious. Getty had five wives, tiring of each almost before the ceremony was over. “My wives married me; I didn’t marry them,” he said.

There were stories of his miserly habits. In 1961 when he appeared on British television for the first time he admitted that, yes, he really had waited five minutes to get into a dog show at a cheaper price. He personally washed his underwear every night - not, he explained, to save money on laundry bills but because he didn’t like the detergent his local laundry used.

Tragedy dogged Getty for the final years of his life. A young son died of a
brain tumor, his oldest son committed suicide, and his grandson was kidnapped.
The boy was returned only after having his ear severed and mailed to an Italian newspaper to convince Getty the plot was real. The old man paid an $850,000 ransom.

In the 1950s Getty moved to England to be centrally located to his global empire. Once there, however, he seldom visited his Middle East holdings and never once set foot in America again. He changed his will 21 times, using it as a weapon to set one person against another. When he died in 1976 at the age of 84 Getty has insured discord in Getty Oil. His company was sold to Texaco for $9.9 billion, history’s biggest corporate takeover.


And the man behind the brand is...
Harvey Firestone

In 1895 Henry Ford, a machinist fiddling with new gasoline engines, walked into the Columbus Buggy Company store in Detroit. Harvey Firestone sold him a set of rubber carriage tires. The two men wouldn’t meet again for ten years but when they did it changed the automotive industry.

The son of an Ohio farmer, the 22-year old Firestone joined his uncle’s buggy company as a salesman in 1890. Firestone quickly demonstrated a flair for sales; by 1892 he was in charge of the entire Michigan district. The sale to Ford proved to be one of his last as the buggy business went bankrupt in 1896. By that time, however, Firestone had seen the future: rubber tires would surely replace bone-rattling iron-banded wheels.

A friend staked him to a retail tire venture in Chicago and it prospered mightily. He sold out for $45,000 in 1900 and left for Akron, already the rubber capital of the world. Firestone took with him not an improved rubber tire but a patent for attaching tires to rims. He organized the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, contributing his patent and $10,000 to acquire 50% of the company which was capitalized at $50,000.

For the first few years other companies provided Firestone with tires but when he began manufacturing his own solid tires the firm became established.
He developed a pneumatic tire which caught the fancy of Henry Ford, who placed an order for 2,000 sets to carry his new runabouts. It was the largest single order for tires ever placed by an auto manufacturer.

The Ford Motor Company sold so many cars that one in every 14 Americans soon owned a car (the figure in Europe was on the order of one in 150).
Most of those cars traveled on Firestone tires. Flushed with Ford money Firestone developed into the world’s most innovative rubber company, producing the first dismountable rim for easy tire changes, the first balloon tire, and the first low-pressure truck tire.

Firestone was the foremost advocate of truck transportation in America, campaigning for improved highways and the elimination of railroad grade crossings. He promoted his tires aggressively in racing competitions to prove their safety and durability.

World War I eviscerated the world rubber market and the post-war depression threw Firestone into a debt approaching $43,000,000. He slashed prices to reduce inventories and was able to completely pay off his obligations by 1924. But when the British put restrictions on rubber production in her possessions Firestone had suffered enough of the vagaries of the world rubber market.

He arranged to lease up to one million acres of Liberian land in Africa in return for a $5,000,000 personal loan and an agreement to improve the Monrovian harbor. By 1936 sixty thousand acres had been planted and during World War II the plantation turned out to be a valuable source of rubber for the Allies. Firestone also acquired textile mills, steel and rim-making plants, and cotton plantations.

Having taken some steps to shore up the supply side of his operation Firestone turned to the retail side. His tires were sold through a network of over 30,000 dealers but was facing stiff competition from the great mail-order houses, Montgomery Ward and Sears, who were beginning to sell tires in retail outlets. Firestone pioneered one-stop service stations offering gas, oil, brakes and,
of course, his tires.

Firestone and Henry Ford forged a relationship outside their business dealings. Together with Thomas Edison the three men frequently disappeared into the wilderness on camping trips. America’s most celebrated campers also enjoyed reunions at their winter homes in Florida.

It was while vacationing on his Florida estate in 1938 that Firestone died at the age of 69. He spent his last hours before passing away in his sleep doing what he enjoyed best: riding in a sulky behind his favorite horse on his hand-built bridle path. He had never quite accepted that horseless carriage.


And the man behind the brand is...
Ole Evinrude

On a typical sweltering Wisconsin summer day in 1908 Ole Evinrude was picnicking with some friends on an island two miles from shore. When his future wife Bess got a hankering for some ice cream Evinrude got in his boat and rowed back to town. But even a sturdy Norwegian couldn’t make it all the way back to the island before the ice cream melted. And so Ole Evinrude thought someone should invent a motor for a rowboat.

Others had already pursued the same dream. There were even such motors on the market in America as early as 1896 and Cameron Waterman, who coined the term “outboard motor,” had sold more than 12,000 such gasoline engines that very year. But Evinrude’s new motor would soon dominate the market, selling more than all other brands combined.

Ole Evinrude was born in Norway in 1877 but raised on a farm in south-central Wisconsin. When he was 16 he left the family farm to work in a machine shop in Madison. A born mechanic, Evinrude eventually worked in factories making electric motors and gasoline engines. While employed in Milwaukee he crafted his own horseless carriage and dreamed of manufacturing an automobile to be called the Eclipse. But Evinrude’s early business ventures were sabotaged by his thorny personality and problems with financial partners.

One business partner he teamed successfully with was his wife Bess.
After successful tests with his new outboard motor on the Kinnikinnic River Bess placed ads in the Milwaukee newspapers declaring, “Don’t Row! Throw the oars away! Use an Evinrude motor.” The original inventory of 15 was depleted in days. An Evinrude motor, generating 1.5 horsepower, weighed 62 pounds and sold for a dollar a pound. Bess Evinrude next placed the same notice in a national magazine and more than a thousand Evinrude motors were sold in 1910.

Like many manufacturers Waterman stressed the technical features of his motor; Bess Evinrude, now business and advertising manager, emphasized the convenience of the Evinrude motor. She also negotiated contracts with Scandinavian fishermen for several thousand outboards. By 1914, six years after Ole Evinrude rowed off that island, the Evinrude motor was internationally known. That year Bess fell ill and Ole once again began bickering with a partner in the Evinrude Motor Co. He sold his share of the business for $137,500 and the Evinrudes spent the next few years traveling around the United States.

Ole Evinrude did not abandon outboard motors, however. By agreement,
he promised not to compete with his old company for five years but when the covenant expired he was ready with a new motor, lighter and 50% more powerful than his best-selling original model. He went back into business in 1920 as the Elto (Evinrude Light Twin Outboard) Outboard Motor Co.

Evinrude continued to improve his motor throughout the 1920s until 1929 when Elto merged with his original Evinrude Motor Company and the Lockwood-Ash Motor Company. Evinrude was installed as president of the new conglomerate. But any sense of triumph was short-lived. Bess, Ole Evinrude’s motivation in business since the day he rowed across the lake with melting ice cream, once again became sick and died in 1933 at the age of 48. Evinrude returned to tinkering in the plant and died the next year at the age of 57.


And the man behind the brand is...
John Dunlop

The streets of 1880s Belfast were pitted with granite outcroppings and tramlines, hardly the course of choice for young cyclists. Ten-year old Johnnie Dunlop pleaded with his father to create something to make his high-wheel tricycle rides more comfortable. His father, a prominent veterinarian, promised to do his best.

John Boyd Dunlop grew up in Scotland, the son of a tenant farmer.
He managed to get into the Royal Dick Veterinarian College in Edinburgh from which he migrated to Northern Ireland. Over the years he built his practice so that he employed 12 horseshoers. It wasn’t the classic background to revolutionize the transportation industry.

Dunlop started with a rubbered canvas and stretched it over a rubber tube which he attached to the periphery of a wooden disk. He inflated the tube with air and put it through some crude tests. The results were encouraging enough to continue working on tricycle tires based on the same principle.

On the night of February 28, 1888 the Dunlops gathered to secretly road test the new tire. A total eclipse of the moon injected added suspense but when Johnnie returned he beamed with pleasure about his ride. Dunlop proceeded to patent his tire and followed it up with two more patents in 1889, including one to cover the form of an inflation valve.

Dunlop’s new tire was so obviously better than solid tires that they began appearing on racing cycles within six months. William Hume, described as only a “medium rider,” was the first to use a Dunlop pneumatic tire. He crushed stronger riders in all three races he entered that day. The laughter in the crowd that greeted his “pudding tires” was quieted by day’s end.

The Pneumatic Tyre Company formed to meet the demand for the new tires. Dunlop received 300 pounds in cash and 3000 $1 shares in the newly formed venture. But it turned out Dunlop had not invented the pneumatic tire.
He had reinvented it. The patent office disallowed his claims citing an 1845 Aerial Wheel with air tubes submitted by R.W. Thomson. Thomson’s design, while sound, was ignored for nearly a half a century.

When his patent was ruled invalid Dunlop shifted from tires to bicycles.
His new bicycle rode on traditional solid tires, which were rapidly being replaced by his pneumatics. By 1895 he was gone from the business. A year later the Pneumatic Tyre Company became the Dunlop Pnuematic Tyre Company,
the forerunner of Dunlop Rubber.

John Dunlop lived to the advance age of 81, dying in 1921. Just before his death he published The History of the Pneumatic Tyre, a rambling reminiscence by an octogenarian looking back on the pivotal time in the development of the tire.


And the man behind the brand is...
William Boeing

Today there are more Boeings in the air than any other airplane. Boeing is America's #1 exporter with a 55% share of the most expensive product in the world not awarded by the bidding process. For a while in the beginning it looked like that product would be bedroom bureaus and chests, not airplanes.

It all began as a hobby for William Boeing. The son of a Great Lakes timber and iron baron William was raised in Michigan and educated in Switzerland.
He matriculated at Yale, for which he showed no particular proclivity. Before his class graduated William was in Washington state buying timber lands for the family business.

He settled in Hoquiam, Washington in 1903 at the age of 22. The lumber business continued to be good to Boeing. In 1912 William Boeing was introduced to Conrad Westervelt at the University Club in Seattle. The tow men hit it off immediately. Both liked fast boats and a lively hand of bridge. Both had studied engineering. And although neither had ever been in a plane both evinced an interest in early aviation.

Boeing and Westervelt began building seaplanes as a lark. On June 15, 1916 Boeing took off from Lake Union in a clumsy-looking flying machine christened Bluebill. It was their first successful flight. Shortly afterwards the Pacific Aero Products Company was incorporated with Boeing as president. The business would sell planes if possible but the two men were also prepared to operate flying schools, stage exhibitions, and carry passengers and freight.

World War I loomed on the horizon for America. The United States Navy became interested in developing successful seaplanes. The Bluebill would not be one of them. It flunked its Navy tests. Years later Boeing would sell the plane to New Zealand where it set altitude records but for now the Navy urged Boeing to hurry production on a new model. He hired an aeronautical engineer.

The United States declared war on April 8, 1917. The Navy scheduled tests for Boeing's new "C-model" planes in July. He packed two planes on trains bound for the Naval testing site in Pensacola, Florida.

The weather for the trials was abominable. Waves crested at over four feet, winds whipped the beaches at more than 35 mph. But the Navy fliers praised the Boeing "C" planes as the best they had ever flown. The Navy ordered 50 planes from the newly named Boeing Airline Company. William Boeing personally invested $30,000 to meet production goals.

The war ended and with it so did business. Boeing issued more stock to raise money, most of which he bought himself. Many aircraft companies simply went out of business. Boeing survived with the manufacture of non-aircraft items, mainly bedroom furniture and phonograph cases. Even with the new products it did not appear Boeing would survive.

In November 1919 Boeing landed a remodelling contract for a British plane. Over the next several years the company subsisted by building other engineer's designs and its remodeling contracts. Boeing supplied planes to Edward Hubbard, whose Hubbard Air Transport was the world's first airline. Finally convinced of the viability of his business Boeing surrendered the presidency and became Chairman of the Board in 1924.

In 1925 Boeing gambled on a new aircraft designed for the United States Postal Service. He sold only one Model 40. But in 1927 when postal bids were accepted for the western routes of the transcontinental mail system Boeing was ready.
The new Model 40A was so light and could carry such a greater payload than its competition that Boeing's bid was fully 50% of what the Post Office was prepared to pay. It was so low William Boeing had to personally underwrite a $500,000 bond to guarantee the job.

Even in the mail business where each additional letter was added revenue William Boeing insisted on including a passenger seat in the Model 40A.
"From the start of the mail operation, I looked ahead to the time when we could 'wash out' the mail and not care about it. I expected passengers to become of primary importance," he would say later.

The new division, Boeing Air Transport, was a success from the beginning with its versatile and popular Model 40A. Boeing secured more and more mail routes, eventually forming the original United Airlines. But the new Franklin Roosevelt administration became convinced that the original mail routes were awarded unfairly. After Federal investigations and hearings Roosevelt suspended all airmail contracts on February 9, 1934. the Army took over delivery of the mail.

It was a disaster from the outset. Planes crashed and men died.
There was over $300,000 in damage in the first few months. The cost of transporting a pound of mail went from $.54 to $2.21 a mile. The public outrage forced Roosevelt to reinstate mail bids but only to new or reorganized airlines. Companies like Boeing could either serve as carriers or manufacturers, but not both.

William Boeing chose neither. He had always intended to retire at 50 and was already three years into his intended "retirement." He was tired of the political headaches indigenous to the aircraft industry. He sold all his stock in Boeing.

William Boeing retired to a life of leisure as his company established itself as the world's leading manufacturer of airplanes. He dies on his yacht in Seattle in 1956, months before the introduction of the first commercial jet plane, the Boeing 707.