The magical Heinz moment dates back to 1892. 48-year-old Henry John Heinz had made a name for himself brining, preserving and bottling all kinds of edibles while one day in New York on an air train from which he had a good view of the billboards of the city. He was struck by an advertisement for shoes that you could buy in no less than '21 styles'. He started counting how many different products he had in his range and ended up in his sixties, he was not sure.
The ancestors of King Camp Gillette, the inventor of the safety razor blade, were French Huguenots who arrived in America as early as the 17th century. In 1871, at the age of sixteen, his father lost all possessions in the great Chicago fire. The young King began to work as a traveling salesman in hardware. Inventing was his hobby, but the big breakthrough failed to materialize. By coincidence he came into the employ of William Painter, the inventor of the bottle cap. Painter advised him to look for one thing that people should throw away after use so that they needed new ones every time. In 1895, while shaving, he saw the new razor as in a dream. 'It was completely finished. It has never changed in form and principle, ”he said later.
At the end of 1963, at the age of 30, the American engineer Ray Dolby traveled through India on behalf of UNESCO to record sitar music in the ashrams. He was very annoyed by the quality of the recordings, which permanently produced a soft murmur. On his return to England in May 1965, he set up a small firm (four employees) in London to develop a noise cancellation system. In November he was able to give a demonstration to the record company Decca Records.
The life of Nicolas-Jacques Conté (1755-1805) is so interesting because the man always shows up where you don't expect him at all. In a recent book about battles in the Low Countries, he is there again. The image of a watercolor shows how seven men in a closed room are busy with a large ball. Below that is another print showing how to camouflage the ball by apparently turning it into a tent. The caption reads: 'A first during the Battle of Fleurus in 1794 (when the French revolutionaries incorporated our regions) was the deployment of an observation balloon by the French army. A series of watercolors by Nicolas Conté shows how such balloons were made. '
William Colgate was born in Kent, British, in 1783. His father Robert was a fierce defender of the ideas of the French Revolution. When Robert threatened to be arrested for treason by the British Crown in March 1795, he was warned by his friend William Pitt, the then British Prime Minister. Leaving all his personal belongings behind, he fled across the Atlantic with his wife and their twelve-year-old son and settled on a farm in Baltimore. He lost the farm due to a dispute over the title of ownership.
When Robert Bosch, the manufacturer of the Bosch spark plug, was 23, he wrote to his future wife: “My religion is summed up in the motto: 'Be fair.' My god is humanity, or rather, the entire universe. If I offend one of my fellow human beings in any way, I sin. I reject the accusation that I rob the poor of their god, the forgiveness of sins and the reward after death. The first and greatest injustice in the world is that there are rich and poor; every man by birth can claim all the goods of the earth, whether he is the child of a beggar or of a millionaire. '
When he died in 1994, Marcel Bich, the designer of the world-famous Bic ballpoint pen, had not allowed an interview for 30 years. The memoriam writers themselves were amazed at how little was known about a man whose disposable items had so much influenced our use of utensils. Even the official obituary gave neither cause nor place of his death. The text only referred to 'defeat' of family and employees. Bich took a romantic pleasure in staying out of the limelight. Self-made men like to boast about their achievements. Bich was different.
In 1934 Leone Benetton married Rosa Carniato, his great love. A year later, their first child, Luciano, was born. Leone earned his living renting cars. But times were bad. War was in the air. The two dreamed of a large family and a better income. In 1936 Mussolini and his troops invaded Ethiopia. Italians who wanted to go higher could try their luck in what was then Abyssinia. Leone was 25, young, strong and willing to take risks.
On July 12, 1932, at four o'clock in the morning, Tomas Bata (pronounced: Badja) wanted to leave his private plane from his private airport in the direction of Zurich to visit his son. A thick fog hung over the airfield so the pilot advised to wait. 'But,' according to a weekly magazine from that time, 'Tomas Bata tolerated no contradiction, not even from the elements of nature.' A few moments later, the plane crashed into a factory chimney. Bata and his pilot were killed instantly. The shoe manufacturer left behind an industrial empire that had hardly any equal in Europe. In the commemorations of those days, he was honored as 'the Ford of the shoe' and 'the Ford of Europe'.
In earlier times it was often kings and emperors who gave a product name recognition. It was no different for the Cuban rum of the Bacardi brand. The breakthrough came in 1892. The six-year-old Crown Prince of Spain, later Alfonso XIII, who was in failing health and suffering from the foul stench of Madrid, had been struck down by a severe flu. “The royal physicians,” the annals say, “knowing about the quality awards the rum had received, administered a quantity of Bacardi to the prince. That night, for the first time in many days, the boy fell into a sound sleep. In the morning the strength of the fever was broken.' The royal secretary wrote the firm a letter to her