The world was a different place one hundred years ago. But not all things change with time. We’ve compiled a list of companies, inventions and other creations that started one hundred years ago (without the help of Kickstarter, even), and are still relevant today.
Still one of the most reliable ways to get from A to B (if not the most glamorous), Greyhound has been servicing Canada, the US and Mexico for a century. The company got its start out of Minnesota when a failed car salesman converted his 7-seat automobile into a bus service for local miners. Maybe the key to longevity is not setting the bar too high…
This essential swimmer’s garment was created in (where else) Australia in response to the rising tide of beach goers in the early 1900s. Simple task. Simple design. Always aerodynamic. Not always flattering.
It’s hard to believe people have been running these things over for 100 years now. (Or using them as pointy hats or megaphones.) Well, actually they haven’t quite, as the first traffic cones used in NYC in 1914 were made out of concrete. It wasn’t until the 40s that they were redesigned to more visible and less “smashy” when accidentally driven into.
The Dodge brothers got their start making parts for other Detroit-based automakers like Ford, but never looked back after completing their first vehicle, the Dodge Model 30, 100 years ago. They’ve had a bit of a tough go in recent years, (long live Detroit) but made headlines in 2014 with the launch of the Challenger SRT Hellcat.
The setting: NYC, early 20th century. Two young men, Charles Merrill and Edmund Lynch agree to share an apartment. Merrill opens a wealth management firm at 7 Wall Street and is joined by his new roomie a month later. Merrill Lynch is born. Forgive us if you don’t think this one is awesome, but one hundred years later, it’s still going strong. Not a lot of business have the good fortune (See what we did there?) of saying that.
Charlie Chaplin Films
Where would we be without Charlie Chaplin? Certainly slapstick comedy wouldn’t be what it is. When Chaplin debuted his loveable-tramp-trope in the 1914 silent film Making A Living it’s unlikely he had any idea that he’d be entertaining on screen for the next 75 years. His over-the-top look and style of physical humour is still legit today.
Non-Direct Blood Transfusions
Blood transfusions have changed in the 100+ since their invention—today we only take the parts of the blood we need (red blood cells, white blood cells etc.), refrigerate them and then use them when we need them. But essentially the same procedure that could save your life 100 years ago could save your life today. Granted, the process is a whole lot more pleasant now; early procedures involved the transfusing of animal blood into humans, to which we say: yuck! It wasn’t until 1914 that scientists were able to successfully perform a transfusion without having the donor (human by this point) in the room.
The Panama Canal
Humans are darned impressive. In 1914, America completed the construction of a 77-km-long series of canals that connected the Atlantic to the Pacific (an idea that had been around since the 1600s) and opened it for business. It was no easy task: the project was forsaken several times by the French before being taken over by the Americans and construction claimed over 25,000 lives. Today, the Panama Canal draws thousand of visitors every day, while allowing passage for over 13,000 ships a year. Imagine seeing it 100 years ago.
You’re forgiven if you haven’t heard of Edgar Rice Burroughs. For the creator of a character as relevant as Tarzan, Burroughs gets little attention today. At the time, however, his first jungle adventure, Tarzan of the Apes was a best seller, and his legacy has inspired many reinventions and carved its own place in pop culture. Burroughs’ original Tarzan adventures really do stand the test of time and will make a great gift for any young reader.
Our definitions of “fast” and “attractive” have changed over the years. But Italy’s ability to deliver on both those fronts hasn’t. Maserati has been producing sexy, ultra-speedy cars from their headquarters in Italy for 100 years now. And even if you’re not the type for luxury sports cars, you can probably appreciate the interior detailing of this collaboration project with Ermenegildo Zegna.