From Wood Mills to Mobile Phones

The Amazing History of 3 Popular Modern Companies

We live in a world where there are corporations that are known worldwide, something that our predecessors from a hundred years ago couldn’t brag about.  As it turns out, there is not a single person that doesn’t know of the famous brands in some of the popular niches. Ask anyone about Sony,  Ford, Nintendo, Nokia … and you’ll find that they’re very popular. And also, people tend to attribute the company’s top product to the name.

But did you know that not all companies started by making the thing they’re most popular for today ?  Sometimes it’s in the same niche, at least, but there are known cases where the company has begun by producing an entirely different thing

Some companies are older than you might think, and truly have an amazing history.

mobile phone

The Nokia Woodmill

Nokia is one of the companies that pioneered mobile phone technology , and popularized Finland all over the world. But few people seem to know that the company was started way back in the late 1800s as a wood mill, near the town of Tampere, back when Finland was still Russian territory.  Some twenty years after the company was founded, it became producing electricity, generated from water, coming from a brook in the town of Nokia, Finnland. It’s hard to imagine how you get from wood milling to mobile phones, but ever since they’ve basically created that market, Nokia have been staying in the top positions.

Nintendo sold playing cards , ran cabs … and more

Nintendo is a company which was founded in 1889, much to  the surprise of many people who associate them with their video game consoles. Back then, the company’s predominant business was to sell playing cards. Yes, the ones used in casinos and magic tricks and illusions.  But that was not the only thing the Nintendo company has done over the years. There are many ideas that failed over time. Nintendo is known to have run a cab company, attempted to make a TV network, and sell food. But the most shocking part of its history is when they attempted to make a love hotel network. For those of you who don’t know, a love hotel is a hotel made solely for the purpose of providing privacy for couples who have no place to go and be passionate  with each other. It’s current affairs only began after the late 1970s, when it started distributing the Magnavox Oddysey console throughout Japan. Somewhere about that time,  a product designer called Shigeru Miamoto joined, and no one knew that several years later,  the company would start making video games like Donkey Kong and Super Mario, allowing Miamoto to be a pioneer of the now forming Japanese video game industry.

Volkswagen actually means “People’s Car”

This brand is popular all over the world,  even in America, who has its own car market and producers. It is known to make quality models of cars that people drive all around  the globe. But due to people’s limited knowledge in German as a foreign language, it’s often overlooked that it means “People’s Car”, and it’s actually pronounced with an “f” rather than a “v” in its native German. Volkswagen now owns many popular brands, like the British Bentley, and the Czech Skoda, but it originally started in Nazi Germany with the idea to make a car that was accessible to the common person. Back in that day,  Germany mostly made luxurious cars that were for the wealthiest, and Volkswagen was the first company to produce a model that would be used by the casual, everyday person. Thus came its infamous Beetle model, which development was encouraged by Hitler himself, but despite that people find it charming even today and raises an eyebrow and a smile when it passes people on the street.


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