40 photos of famous companies and brands at their creation


Before becoming large multinationals, many companies were small family businesses. Today we invite you to find out what 40 famous brands and companies looked like when they were founded. You will see that you can go very far if you are ambitious.

40 famous companies when they were founded

Last year we introduced the first products sold by 20 major well-known brands. This time we invite you to find out what the first shops or the first premises of 40 famous companies looked like.

1) Courtepaille (created 1961)

The first Courtepaille restaurant opened in 1961 in Rouvray in Côte-d’Or.

2) LU (founded in 1846)

The famous Lefèvre-Utile biscuit factory, now known as LU, was founded in Nantes in 1846.

3) FNAC (created 1954)

Originally, Fnac sold shopping books.

4) Nicolas (founded in 1822)

In 1822 Louis Nicolas began selling and supplying wine bottles to individuals.

5) Darty (founded 1954)

Originally the Darty brothers sold textiles from Porte de Montreuil in Paris. The explosion in home appliance sales has led them to realign their activities.

6) Hermès (founded in 1837)

Hermès was originally a specialist in harnesses, saddles and equipment for horses. During the development of the automobile, they specialized in luggage.

7) Carrefour (founded 1959)

The first Carrefour store opened in Annecy.

8) Auchan (founded in 1961)

The first Auchan store was opened in Roubaix.

9) Ikea (founded in 1943)

Before opening the first store, Ikea was only mail order.

10) Toys “R” Us (founded in 1948)

Before selling toys for young and old, Toys “R” Us specialized in toys for babies.

11) Coca-Cola (founded in 1886)

Before it became a soda, Coca Cola was a pharmaceutical drink that was good for headaches.

12) Harley-Davidson (founded 1903)

The first Harley Davidson was built in the back yard of the family home.

13) Nokia (founded in 1865)

Originally, Nokia was a paper mill.

14) U-Bahn (founded in 1965)

The first subway was opened in Connecticut.

15) Burger King (founded 1954)

Burger King was originally called Insta-Burger King, but difficulties in 1954 led the owners to sell. The company was bought by David Edgerton and James McLamore, who renamed it Burger King.

16) Nintendo (founded in 1889)

Originally, Nintendo made playing cards.

17) Samsung (founded 1938)

Samsung originally sold noodles and worked with local grocery stores.

18) Zara (founded in 1976)

Opening of the first store in La Coruña, Spain.

19) H&M (founded 1947)

Originally H&M was called “Hennes”, which means “for her” in Swedish. The first store was opened in Västeras, Sweden.

20) Microsoft (founded in 1976)

Microsoft was originally called Micro-Soft for “microprocessors and software”.

21) Starbucks (founded 1971)

The first Starbuck opened at the University of San Francisco and originally only sold coffee beans.

22) Suzuki (founded in 1909)

Originally, Suzuki manufactured weaving machines.

23) Taco Bell (founded in 1962)

24) Disneyland (founded in 1955)

25) Metro Goldwyn Mayer (founded 1924)

26) Levi’s (founded 1853)

Levi Strauss is the creator of jeans as we know them today.

27) Amazon (founded in 1994)

Originally Amazon was called “Cadaver,” but after a lawyer mispronounced the name, Jeff Bezos decided to call it Amazon, which made it more exotic and different.

28) Ford (founded 1903)

29) Mitsubishi (founded in 1970)

30) McDonald’s (founded 1940)

The first McDonald’s was founded by the McDonald brothers in 1940.

31) Adidas (founded in 1949)

32) Pepsi (founded 1898)

Like Coke, Pepsi was invented for medicinal purposes. Originally it was called “Brad’s Drink” and was used for digestive problems.

33) Toyota (founded in 1924)

As with Suzuki, Toyota was originally involved in the development of weaving machines.

34) Domino (founded in 1960)

The first domino pizzeria was founded in 1960, the owners delivered with the depicted Volkswagen.

35) SEGA (founded in 1960)

Originally, Sega was a company specializing in importing entertainment machines such as jukeboxes, pinball machines, and other mechanical arcade games.

36) Intel (founded in 1968)

Originally, Intel was called NM Electronics.

37) Sony (founded 1946)

Originally, Sony was an electronic retailer in a Tokyo department store.

38) Colgate (founded 1873)

Before making toothpaste, Colgate sold soap and candles.

39) Nike (founded 1964)

Before the American company was called Nike and had its famous comma as its logo, it was called Blue Ribbon Sports.

40) LG (founded in 1947)

LG was originally one of the pioneers in the chemical industry. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the company turned to electronics.