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Fast food chains may be a dime a dozen, but there is none other like Tim Hortons, a brand that has managed to become an inseparable part of the fabric of Canada. The mere sound of its name brings a ton of nostalgic memories for many Canadians and it has since become a proud representation of the country, along with its values.
For many, June is a month-long celebration for the LGBTQ+ community – a community that has historically been forced to put up with prejudice, discrimination, violence, and persecution. Pride Month is an event celebrated by millions of people globally, spurring even the most prominent companies to voice their support for the LGBTQ+ community and everything it stands for. But how exactly did Pride Month come to be?
Perhaps no other board game has captured the public’s imagination more than Monopoly, which – for decades – has infamously destroyed relationships with friends, as well as family game nights. Nearly everyone in the world has played or knows how to play Monopoly. Unfortunately, only a few are aware of its fascinating roots and its incredibly controversial history.
There’s probably a good chance that you recently ordered a box of pizza. It might have been for sharing with your friends and family. Or maybe it was likely for a night-in alone, or binging Netflix with a glass of wine - just some of the ways in which we easily enjoy pizza nowadays. The classic Pizza and a movie. No other food item is as international as the humble pizza, with each country carrying its own variations. Cultural variations like how the Japanese put squid on theirs while restaurants in the United Kingdom serve it as a Full English Breakfast, with each slice containing sausages, baked beans, and black pudding. And of course, there’s the notorious Hawaiian pizza, with its pineapple and ham toppings causing countless debates and food wars. One of those ‘you either love it, or hate it’ things. The story of pizza spans centuries and countries, with both Italy and the United States credited as its home. To top it all off, it has facilitated a drastic transformation in the food industry, thanks to the fact that it perfectly meets the customer’s demand for a convenient and filling, yet cheap meal. But how exactly did pizza come about? And what led to it turning from a homemade dish into something that arrives at your doorstep less than half an hour after you ordered it?
For years, Elizabeth Holmes was lauded as a pioneer in the medical technology industry after having invented a device that could run countless tests on a single drop of blood. With lucrative deals and multiple funding rounds, she managed to claw her way to the top, becoming the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire with a staggering net worth of 4.5 billion dollars. But in 2015, these all came crumbling down, when an exposé published by The Wall Street Journal revealed that everything that Elizabeth claimed to have built was nothing but a giant and dangerous lie.
Many people – us included – have many fond memories of Blockbuster. This video rental franchise dominated the market and became well known as a family friendly business. How did they do it? The smell opening up one of those bulky Blockbuster cases was intoxicating. It’s a shame that future generations will never be able to experience the beauty and comfort that was Blockbuster. With one store left in the entire world, it’s safe to assume that the brand’s extinction won’t be a long way off.
The city of Baltimore is considered the largest and most populous in the state of Maryland. It attracts thousands of tourists, most of whom come for the scenic Inner Harbor and for a taste of the mouth-watering crab dishes served in practically every restaurant. But Baltimore in the 18th and 19th centuries had an entirely different reputation. At the time and under the cover of darkness, men would routinely sneak into cemeteries located across the city. Armed with dim lanterns and wooden shovels, they desecrated graves and dug up the dead, working in fear of the night patrolmen and casual passersby. Most of the time, these grim nightly escapades ended successfully, with the fresh corpse ending up on a medical student’s table the following day. But sometimes, the men would be caught, either chased away by an angry mob or charged with a misdemeanor by the police. Referred to as “body-snatching,” this grisly business proliferated in Baltimore, despite the risks that it carried. In addition to legal violations, those who worked in this profession also carried with them the stigma of robbing graves for a living. But there’s a reason why body-snatchers – or “Resurrectionists,” as they preferred to call themselves – willingly partook in this macabre career.
Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but the photo of a divorced couple picking through their massive collection of Beanie Babies is definitely one that encapsulates an unbelievable movement that lasted nearly a decade. The 90s were marked by many things, although one of the most memorable – and arguably, the most ridiculous – was the mania caused by a few stuffed animals. These toys were originally meant for children, but ultimately ended up turning adults into both millionaires and paupers overnight. We’ll be discussing the Beanie Babies, which were a 90s icon that caused mass hysteria with every new product release. Not only will we discuss its story and its creator, Ty Warner, but we’ll also be learning to understand how exactly these five-dollar stuffed animals managed to destabilize the consumer market.
Waking up today consists of an alarm clock – one whose incessant ringing, unfortunately, brings us out of our dreams and the comfort of our beds. Many have even attempted to make this process more pleasurable by inventing alarm clocks that mimic natural sunlight, as well as ones that force you to run after them if you want to hit their snooze button. But these devices weren’t always the nifty and creative ones that we know today. In fact, our ancestors used to wake up to the loud thud of a stick being struck across the window or to the unique sound of a woman shooting peas at them. Rather than smartphone apps and digital displays, our ancestors had to rely on the business of human alarm clocks instead.
Welcome to History of Business, a podcast that will take you on a journey to the past to explore businesses, concepts and major events that shaped history, entrepreneurs and corporations to this day. Each week, we nerd out on real life stories of businesses from ancient history to the modern day. Hosted by serial entrepreneur Andrea Conway with co-host Mark Conway, they created this podcast as a passion project to highlight the stories of the many people that risked it all to build their own legacies, create their own careers, pave their own path and sometimes pave the path for others and the industry. So if you geek out on History documentaries on Netflix, or like Andrea would rather listen or read historical non fiction than reality TV, or the words 'Ancient Egypt' or 'The Stock Market' turn you on, then this podcast is for you. Tune in weekly for episodes!