Timeline of American Business



1837:
William Procter and James Gamble create the Procter & Gamble Company.
1850:
Henry Wells and William Fargo form the American Express Company.
1873:
Levi Strauss & Company sells its first pair of riveted blue jeans.
1876:
Alexander Graham Bell receives the first telephone patent.
1877:
Bell Telephone Company is formed.
1879:
Procter & Gamble launch Ivory bar soap.

Timeline of American Business

1881:
Marshall Field renames his Chicago, Illinois, department store after himself.

J. L. Hudson opens his first department store in Detroit, Michigan.

1886:
Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton invents the Coca-Cola formula.

David H. McConnell starts the California Perfume Company (later Avon) in New York.

1888:
The first successful Kodak camera appears on the market.
1892:
General Electric is formed through the merger of Thomas Edison's Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston.
1894:
Candy maker Milton Hershey sells his first milk chocolate bars.
1897:
Olds Motor Vehicle Company is started by Ransom E. Olds.
1898:
Caleb Bradham invents Pepsi-Cola.
1899:
S. S. Kresge establishes the S. S. Kresge Company. Bell changes his company name to American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T).
1901:
J. P. Morgan combines ten separate companies, including Carnegie Steel, to form the United States Steel Corporation.
1903:
Ford Motor Company is founded.

David B. Buick founds the Buick Motor Company.

The Warner brothers show their first film at their home in Youngstown, Ohio.

George Draper Dayton takes control of a Minneapolis dry-goods store and renames it Dayton's.

Timeline of American Business

1906:
W. K. Kellogg starts the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company.
1908:
The Ford Model T is introduced.

General Motors Corporation is formed, incorporating the Buick Motor Company and the Olds Motor Vehicle Company.

1910:
Joyce C. Hall starts a wholesale postcard business in Kansas City, Missouri.
1911:
The Supreme Court orders the breakup of Standard Oil.
1912:
L. L. Bean is formed in Freeport, Maine.
1913:
Ford introduces the assembly line.
1917:
William Boeing renames his aviation company The Boeing Airplane Company.
1919:
Along with Westinghouse and other companies, General Electric forms the Radio Corporation of America (RCA).
1920:
Eddie Bauer's Tennis Shop opens; name soon changes to Eddie Bauer's Sports Shop.
1922:
Henry Luce forms Time, Inc.
1923:
With his brother Roy, Walt Disney forms Disney Brothers Studio, which later becomes the Walt Disney Company.
1925:
The Chrysler Corporation is formed from the Maxwell Motor Company.
1926:
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is formed, with General Electric a part owner.

Timeline of American Business

1928:
Chrysler launches the Plymouth and DeSoto lines of automobiles.
1935:
The first DC-3 airplane flight occurs on December 17.
1936:
The United Auto Workers stage their first sit-down strike.
1938:
Earl Tupper forms the Earl S. Tupper Company (later Tupperware, Inc.) to create industrial plastics.
1939:
David Packard and William Hewlett form Hewlett-Packard to sell the audio oscillator they invented.
1942:
All Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors plants convert to military production.
1947:
Three Bell Labs scientists invent the transistor.
1948:
Richard and Maurice McDonald open their first fast-food restaurant in San Bernadino, California.

Earl Tupper meets Brownie Wise, a sales representative for Stanley Home Products, who launches the concept of the Tupperware party.

1957:
The first Japanese car, a Toyota, is sold in the United States.
1958:
Bank of America launches the first credit card.

Bell Labs scientists invent the laser.

1959:
Berry Gordy launches the Tamla and Motown record labels after borrowing $800 from his family.
1961:
Ray Kroc takes full control of the McDonald's Corporation from the McDonald brothers.
1962:
The first Wal-Mart store opens in Rogers, Arkansas.

The first Kmart store opens in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan.

The Instamatic, Kodak's most popular camera ever, appears in stores.

The Coca-Cola Company introduces TAB diet cola.

Timeline of American Business

1965:
Ralph Nader publishes Unsafe at Any Speed, critical of General Motors and its Corvair.
1968:
Blue Ribbon Sports's (later renamed Nike) first best-selling shoe, the Cortez, takes the United States by storm.
1969:
Donald and Doris Fisher open the first Gap store in San Francisco, California.

Children's Television Workshop broadcasts the first episode of Sesame Street.

The J. L. Hudson Company and the Dayton Company merge to form the Dayton Hudson Corporation.

1971:
The first Starbucks coffee shop opens in Seattle, Washington.
1973:
From its hub airport in Memphis, Tennessee, FedEx begins service to twenty-five U.S. citites.
1974:
Wally "Famous" Amos begins baking cookies to sell commercially.
1975:
Bill Gates and Paul Allen form Microsoft to develop software for personal computers.
1976:
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak form the Apple Computer Company and sell their first personal computers.

Former model and stockbroker Martha Stewart starts a catering business in her Westport, Connecticut, home.

1978:
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield start Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., and open their first ice cream scoop shop in Burlington, Vermont.

Lee Iacocca becomes the head Chrysler.

Toys R Us revives the employee stock option as an employee benefit.

Timeline of American Business

1979:
Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank open the first three Home Depot stores in Atlanta, Georgia.
1980:
Ted Turner starts CNN, the first twenty-four-hour cable news station.
1981:
IBM sells the first personal computer using the Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS).
1984:
Apple introduces the Macintosh computer, which includes such features as a mouse and graphical user interface.

AT&T is divided up into seven regional phone companies.

Michael Dell officially forms Dell Computer Corporation; Dell becomes one of the first companies to make clones of IBM personal computers.

1985:
Steve Case helps start Quantum Computer Services, which later becomes America Online (AOL).

The Ben & Jerry's Foundation is established, funded by 7.5 percent of the company's annual profits before taxes, to give to community-oriented nonprofit groups.

A.M. Chicago becomes The Oprah Winfrey Show; the following year Winfrey forms Harpo Productions, Inc.

Nike signs basketball great Michael Jordan to promote its shoes.

1987:
Microsoft Bookshelf is Microsoft's first product on CD-ROM.
1989:
Time, Inc., and Warner Communications merge, forming Time Warner.

Timeline of American Business

1990:
Dayton Hudson Corporation buys Marshall Field's. Vera Wang Bridal House Ltd. opens on Madison Avenue in New York.
1994:
Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, and David Geffen join forces to form a new entertainment company, DreamWorks SKG.

General Electric launches www.ge.com , becoming the first Fortune 500 company to go online.

Mosaic Communications Corporation is founded by Marc Andreessen and James Clark; named changes to Netscape Communications Corporation.

1995:
Jeff Bezos opens Amazon.com on the Internet, offering one million titles.

Netscape offers its stock to the public on the stock market.

1996:
AT&T splits again into three companies and Lucent Technologies is born.

Time Warner buys Turner Broadcasting System.

Microsoft and General Electric (owner of NBC) launch computer/television network MSNBC.

1997:
The Boeing Company merges with McDonnell Douglas.

Martha Stewart buys her magazine Martha Stewart Living from Time Wamer and launches Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

1998:
The U.S. Justice Department accuses Microsoft of violating antitrust laws.

Chrysler merges with Daimler-Benz to become Daimler-Chrysler AG.

1999:
Netscape is bought by America Online for $4.2 billion.

Timeline of American Business

2000:
Reflecting the growth of its discount stores, Dayton Hudson changes its name to Target Corporation.

The British-Dutch conglomerate Unilever buys Ben & Jerry's for $236 million and vows it will maintain the Vermont company's social and environmental commitments.

Children's Television Workshop changes its name to Sesame Workshop.

2001:
Amazon.com posts its first profit, $5.1 million in the fourth quarter.

America Online purchases Time Warner, forming AOL Time Warner.

2002:
Kmart Corporation files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The purchase of Compaq Computer Corporation makes Hewlett-Packard the second-largest computer manufacturer in the world.

Timeline of American Business

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