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Pictures of what famous businesses looked like in their early days

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Think about all the businesses that have stores in your local area. When you start counting all of them, the chances are that you will suddenly come to know that the world is a really busy place with a lot of big-name businesses having chains that appear to be everywhere. From fast food locations like Subway (aka Pete’s Subway) to shops like Walmart and more.

But, like all things, even the strongest and brightest conglomerates had modest origins. And the old photographs from the early days of these businesses are incredible to look at. For all of you history and photography buffs out there, we’ve compiled this collection of rare vintage images of some of the most famous pictures in the world for you to enjoy.

1- Harley Davidson 1903

Harley-Davidson was founded in Milwaukee , Wisconsin, in 1903. It was one of only two American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression, while the other was Indian.

The company’s origins go back to 1901, when William S. Harley drew up designs for a small engine that could be used in a standard pedal bike frame. Together with his childhood friend Arthur Davidson, they spent the next two years working on their bike. Arthur’s partner, Walter, joined the team later.

The very first Harley-Davidson motorbike was installed in a ten-foot shed (pictured) in the backyard of the Davidson family. By 1904, their racer prototype was usable and raced in the Milwaukee motorcycle race, where Edward Hildebrand took fourth position.

Harley and the brothers of Davidson founded their first factory in 1906. It was 40 by 60 feet tall and made of wood. The company produced around 50 motorcycles that year.

When the United States entered World War One in 1917, Harley-Davidson motorcycles were used for military purposes. During this time , the U.S. Army purchased more than 20k Harleys.

2- Coca Cola 1886

The company manufactures Coca-Cola, which was invented in 1886 by the pharmacist John Stith Pemberton. In 1889, the recipe and the brand were sold for $2,300 to Asa Griggs Candler, which incorporated the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta in 1892.


At first, Coca-Cola was marketed as a beverage that relieves headaches and was originally planned to be sold as a therapeutic beverage in pharmacies. It was actually Pemberton’s accountant, Frank M. Robinson, who came up with the name of the drink and created his logo. The name, Coca-Cola, was chosen for its two key ingredients at the time (coca leaves and kola nuts) and for the pleasant-sounding alliteration of the words.


It’s the very first ad to read, “Delicious! Refreshing! Thrilling! Invigorating!” By 1895, Coca-Cola was so popular that it was sold in every state in the United States. And that’s mainly due to Candler’s sending out thousands of Coca-Cola free glass coupons. The publicity stunt succeeded and Coca-Cola was forever cemented as a global brand.

3- Burger King 1953

Keith G Cramer, who owned Keith’s Drive-In Restaurant in Daytona Beach, FL, had partnered with his father-in – law to start the business. It was initially named the King of Insta-Burger.

When Insta-Burger King ran into financial difficulties in 1954, his two Miami-based franchisees, David Edgerton and James McLamore, bought the business and renamed it Burger King. In the next five decades, the business changed hands four times.

The 1970s is considered to be the ‘golden age’ of BK.

Due to copyright laws that protect Burger King ‘s name with another Australian company, BK had to go with Hungry Jack’s in the region. Australia is the only nation to have a BK franchise of a different name.

4- Samsung 1938

Samsung initially sold noodles and other items. Samsung-Sanyo Electronics, which later became Samsung Electronics, was founded in 1969.

The South Korean company Samsung Sanghoe was first established as a trading company by Lee Byung-chul in 1938. Over the next few decades , the company has diversified into a variety of different fields, including food manufacturing, textiles, banking, securities and retail. By the 1960s, Samsung entered the electronics industry and began construction and shipbuilding in the 1970s.

Samsung Electronics, one of the group ‘s largest industrial affiliates, was the world’s largest information technology firm, consumer electronics producer, and chipmaker in 2017.

Samsung’s affiliated companies generate about one-fifth of South Korea’s total exports, showing the importance of the conglomerate in the region.

5- Starbucks 1971

The first Starbucks was opened in Seattle in 1971 by Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker and Zev Siegl University of San Francisco, and only sold coffee beans. All this changed when Howard Schultz came on board, who, influenced by Italian coffee culture, converted Starbucks’ coffee shops into social gathering places we know today when he bought the chain in 1987.

6- Dunkin Donut’s 1948

The first Dunkin ‘ Donuts opened in 1948 in Quincy, MA, and on Tuesday, January 16th, we’re opening our store for the future idea right down the street!

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