I’m going to give you 10 original company names and the date these companies were founded. How many do you recognize? Answers below, no peeking!
1) Electric Suction Sweeper Company (1908)
2) Precision Optical Industry Co. Ltd (1934)
3) PC’s Limited, (1984).
4) AuctionWeb, (1995)
5) United Fruit Company (1899)
6) Pacific Aero Products Co (1916)
7) Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation (1946)
8) American Cable Systems (1963)
9) American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company (1899)
10) Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory (1924), Bonus! this company split, and there are 2 correct answers!
10) Puma and Adidas
This may have been an easy quiz, but what’s interesting from a naming perspective is looking at how outdated the original names seem, and how naming styles have transformed drastically over the last century—away from stark, descriptive names and towards names with a human element. If there isn’t a book about the evolution of brand names, there should be!
When researching this quiz, I also found it interesting that many companies that ended up with eponymous names—Dell , Boeing, and Hoover—didn’t use them at first, opting for what we would think as the most boring, descriptive names imaginable. Sometimes highly novel companies opt to have descriptive names to explain more or less their premise (like the modern-day Dollar Shave Club). But perhaps more relevant is that often the last thing entrepreneurs have time to think about is the name of their company, even if a perfectly suitable name is, perhaps, on their birth certificate.