How Yuengling Beer Has Endured for a Whopping 190 Years

For Americans fond of their brewskies, Dec. 5, 1933, was arguably the biggest day in history. That Sunday, Utah became the all-important 36th state to vote an end to Prohibition. To show their gratitude to Franklin D. Roosevelt–who’d reportedly said, “What America needs now is a drink”–two brewers sent gifts to the president. One was…

How Wiffle Ball Has Endured Without Advertising, Licensing or Product Placement

Nineteen fifty-three was a seminal year in world history. Biologists discovered the double helix of DNA. Sir Edmund Hillary reached the top of Everest. Dr. Jonas Salk perfected the polio vaccine. And in a suburban backyard in Fairfield, Conn., a bunch of kids played the first game of Wiffle Ball. All right, so maybe a…

Why Gorton’s Fish Sticks Make America So Nostalgic

Aug. 25, 1961, was a big day in Gloucester, Mass. In a long clapboard building on Rogers Street, just above the Inner Harbor, some 250 attendees gathered to glad-hand and listen to speeches by various VIPs, including the esteemed professor and researcher Samuel Goldblith. Up from Washington was Sen. Benjamin Smith II (D-Mass.)–keeping JFK’s seat…

The Story Behind One of the Most Controversial Candies of Our Time

As home to the Capitol’s upper house, the United States Senate Chamber is among the most storied rooms in America. Appointed with red marble pilasters and rich blue carpeting, the chamber contains 100 mahogany desks. Senators can keep whatever they like in the desks–each is assigned a specific one–but the contents of desk No. 24…

How a Nightmare Neurotoxin Became the Beloved Botox

The story tore across media outlets all over the world last year. In Saudi Arabia, a dozen camels had been disqualified from a beauty contest at the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival. A story that ran in The National, a paper published out of the United Arab Emirates, revealed that a crooked veterinarian had been caught…

Did Nike’s Swoosh Make the Brand Famous, or Is It the Other Way Around?

As arguably the most talented player in college basketball, Zion Williamson is used to making headlines–just not the kind he made last month. On Feb. 21, as the Duke forward played in the first minute of the North Carolina game, a sudden “pop” brought Williamson to the floor, clutching his knee in agony. “The world…

Paramount Pictures’ Logo Started as a Desktop Doodle, and Has Endured for 105 Years

Hollywood isn’t just an incubator of celebrity culture. It’s also home to some of the most durable brand logos in American capitalism. The celluloid trade calls them title screens, and odds are that most every adult consumer can name them by sight: Warner Brothers’ “WB” shield, Cinderella’s Castle of Disney Pictures fame and, of course,…

Here’s How Much Barbie Has Changed Since Her Debut Almost 60 Years Ago

In the weeks leading up to the national bicentennial of July 4, 1976, communities across America joined in the craze for shoving time capsules into the ground. Among them was the town of Lima, Ohio. But while Lima buried the usual payload of comic books and bumper stickers, local officials tossed in another item to…

How the Mother of All Football Games Became the Most Vigilantly Guarded Brand Name in America

One of the most important plays in football history was made on March 7, 1969, though it didn’t take place on a field anywhere. It happened at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, where the claims examiners received registration No. 882283 from an office at 345 Park Ave. in New York: The National Football League…

The Hess Truck’s Back—Though It Never Really Disappeared From the Holiday Radar

The First Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Had No Pumpkin In It

Essie Became the Go-To Nail Polish Because of Queen Elizabeth

Goyard Won’t Advertise, So How Is Its Bag So Enduringly Fashionable?

Why Are Ouija Boards Still So Damn Creepy?

Bop It! Was Supposed to Be a Riff on the Remote Control

Versace’s Medusa Logo Breaks Every Design Rule. So Why Does It Work?

The Skin Cream That Celebrities Swear by Was Created by a Nurse Nearly 90 Years Ago

Shake Shack Was Once a Hot Dog Cart. Now, It’s One of the Biggest Burger Joints in America

Here’s What Convinced George Foreman to Put His Name on a Lean, Mean Grilling Machine

How Chia Pet Grew Out of an Airport Shop and Into the Living Rooms of Americans