20

Why have rural gas stations vanished? Because business conditions have changed: my grandfather built a small gas station in 1921 at Six Mile and Livernois, near Detroit, on a corner of his father's farm. In those days tires needed to be patched or replaced every thousand miles or so, and there were many other small services that had to be performed on ...


13

It would have been somewhere between 1917 and 1923, and thus the amount on that check would be the rough equivalent of getting a check for $150k-$200k today. Assuming the story is true at all, of course. The best source we have for this story (which may well still be an Urban Myth) seems to be a letter to the Editor of LIFE magazine by a Jack B. Scott, ...


12

It wasn't just Apple. Commodore and Atari both had technically superior machines available for much of the early history of the PC platform, and both also got destroyed in the market. The best answer I've ever seen to this question came from Eric Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar*. The basic gist of the argument is that when it comes to a competition ...


11

The process of wrapping purchases in paper and twine is called packaging, and the resultant wrapped item is called a package. (You will hear purchases sometimes referred to as packages in old books, TV shows and movies.) It was replaced by self-service shops and sturdy paper bags beginning in the '30s. To begin with, paper was used as flexible packaging as ...


11

I think that your answer is Angel and Royal Hotel. From the history fact sheet: Widely regarded and fondly known as the oldest surviving English Inn, the main façade of the building that stands today was built approximately 600 years ago. The site then, however, had already been an Inn for 200 years, and was built as a hostel for the chivalrous ...


9

IBM started offering the "lease" option in the late 1960s, when leasing became popular in other industries. It seemed like a way to segment the market, but in so doing, IBM opened a window into their business that weakened what had up to that time been a quasi monopoly. There are quite a few examples of firms that bought IBM computers for re-leasing to ...


9

The code of Hammurabi included laws regulating beer and beer parlours and it dates back to about 1754 BC, indicating that beer parlours and the commerce of beer were already common at that point. Taverns were also common in the Roman Empire. However with the fall of the Western Roman Empire they seem to have somewhat faded into the background. Wine was too ...


9

Depending on your definition of corporation, you could claim that Venice and other merchant cities of Italy were akin to corporations. Guilds could well be said to have been pseudo corporations and the Templar orders a pseudo-bank. Corporations allow for a united front against competition, taxes, and a sharing of profits. The Merchant Adventurers of ...


9

The earliest instance of a "corporation" as we recognize them today has to be the Dutch East India Company which was established in 1602. The Dutch East India Company was the first to issue shares that were tradeable on a stock exchange in its company in part to raise capital for its operations. At the time of its founding similar trading companies focused ...


8

Harry Gordon Selfridge does appear to be the man responsible. From Wikipedia's page on Selfridges: Selfridge's innovative marketing led to his success. He tried to make shopping a fun adventure instead of a chore. He put merchandise on display so customers could examine it, put the highly profitable perfume counter front-and-centre on the ground floor, ...


8

The Rise of the IBM PC was very quick. The Apple II had done well and blazed a path but many as a hobby computer more than a business machine, and it was tagged as cute rather than practical. IBM had huge brand clout in Business an businesses looked at the IBM offering favourably just because it came from IBM. The Apple II had an open architecture but had ...


6

This has happened several times between U.S. companies and Latin American countries. The United Fruit Company was a major player in a 1954 coup in Guatemala. A 1973 coup in Chile was allegedly backed by International Telephone and Telegraph.


6

The two current answers cover why anti-trust laws exist, but if my reading of your question is correct, what you actually want to know is why most large companies were Trusts in those days, as opposed to C-Corps or LLCs nowadays. The main difference between a corporation and a business trust is that the former has an owner and therefor is part of your ...


5

The word "corporation" originates from Ancient Rome. Ancient Rome had special laws concerning the creation of corporations. Under the republic the creation of corporations was free, but starting from the reign of Augustus, only the Senate could approve the creation of new corporations. A Roman corporation was unlike the modern ones. It was more like a club,...


5

According to Mass Media in Ancient Rome: Painted advertisements for games have survived under the ashes that buried Pompeii in 79 GC. These advertisements promoted the games’ sponsors as well as the games themselves: Brought to you by Decimus Lucretius Satrius Valens, permanent priest of Nero Caeser, son of Augustus, twenty pairs of gladiators. ...


4

. . . the earliest surviving graffito is thought to be an ancient Greek brothel advert in Ephesus, now on Turkey’s west coast. Telegraph.co.uk The same article contains other discussions of advertising in Pompeiian graffiti


4

Chain stores became an important force in the American economy around the turn of the century. Mass production (and the accompanying potential for mass consumption) made this new business model possible. Innovators saw that they could make more money from high-volume low-margin sales than from the low-volume high-margin sales that characterized traditional ...


4

The last columns at the right of each page appear to contain references to amounts of British money in the form of X pounds Y shillings Z pence. On the left are dates, and in the middle, references to the "accounts." There were 12 pence to the shilling, and 20 shillings (240 pence) to the pound.


3

There is little credible information about War Relief Toy Works. The knowledge seems to be shared to whoever owns a piece. Based on some of my research I believe that "War Relief Toy Works" was a charity created to aid injured soldiers. The toys would be made by wounded soldiers in World War One and possibly World War Two but is unlikely or less successful....


3

The Dow Company, in 1904. Dow had a monopoly on bromine in the US, but not in Europe, where the powerful German cartel Die Deutsche Bromkonvention fixed the price at 49 cents per pound, and threatened Dow not to enter the Europe market, or Bromkonvention would flood the US market with cheap bromine. Herbert Dow, being strapped for cash, decided to ignore ...


3

Microsoft basically took advantage of the growth: it bundled Word and Excel into as many new PCs as it could. In the early days of the PC, growth was so phenomenal that more new PCs were sometimes sold in a year than in the history of computers. In such a context, if you bundle your software with every PC sold (in exchange for, say, Windows), you'll have ...


3

Microsoft went for the users, at home. Not companies. That too, of course. But conquering the home market was the priority. Their strategy was that once people start working with MS Office products at home, they would ask for it in the company. This really worked. Word Perfect missed the step from DOS to Win 3. Lotus 1,2,3 was the default spreadsheet for ...


3

(I'm not sure I've got an answer, but I've got some research that may help someone else find a better answer). The practice appears to be commonplace in European commercial and industrial applications. In commercial and industrial applications (delivery times, production plans, etc.), especially in Europe, it is often required to refer to a week of a ...


2

The 1929 stock market crash (and the excesses, bordering on illegality that led to it) led to the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1934, following the onset of the Great Depression in the early 1930s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Securities_and_Exchange_Commission There were Congressional acts, those of 1933 and 1934 that changed ...


2

The original chain stores sold low cost, mundane products that enabled merchants to save money by "buying in bulk." The first three included United Cigar (a "single" product store), F.W. Woolworth, a "dime" store that we would now call a "dollar" store, and Great Atlantic and Pacific (A&P), a grocery store. Chain stores became popular in the United ...


2

As the wikipedia article states, the quote is from Charles Mackay's "Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds". The quoted lines appear on page 57, as item 17 in a list of over 80 "bubble" companies that were made illegal and abolished by the Privy council on the 12th July 1720. No further details are included. Without the ...


2

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were genius businessmen, but Steve Jobs made two missteps, the Apple III and the Lisa, and was fired for it just as his newest effort, the Macintosh, was exploding in popularity. Gates, on the other hand, as a software impresario, let other people take risks with hardware. He let IBM design the hardware, and then supported the ...


2

According to this wiki entry on Colonel Sanders, he was notoriously hard to get along with. Prior to Prudential Insurance, he had gotten fired from two jobs as a lawyer, one for getting into a fight with a colleague, the other for getting into a fight with a client. In selling, there are two things likely to get a salesman fired: 1) Not selling enough and ...


2

Apparently John Mulligan, our Irishman from this question, was a man of many talents( and a couple of names). From Forgotten Pioneers: Irish Leaders in Early California By Thomas F. Prendergast Milligan acted as interpreter, as noted in the State papers From The Irish Cultural Directory for Southern California - Page xvii In March 1816, he acted as ...


1

Early retail in Monterey was either in the presidial paymaster's store, described in Guest's "Municipal Government in Spanish California", or a visiting ship's trading room, described in Graebner's "Empire on the Pacific". The first independent Monterey trading house was perhaps that of McCulloch, Hartnell, & Company. It set up in Monterey in 1822, 5/8 ...


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