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Can you guess the company these real 'Jeopardy!' clues are about?

  • Can you guess the company these real 'Jeopardy!' clues are about?

    To have been in business in America for 100 years or more is a huge deal; but in the grand scheme of things, a century’s worth of history is nothing. For example, Japan’s Keiunkan Inn has existed since 705 A.D. For 1,300 years—300 years before Vikings came to America—52 generations of Fujiwara Mahito descendants have been running the vacation lodgings. And again, the world’s oldest restaurant, St. Peter’s Stiftskeller, was first mentioned in a document by Charlemagne follower and scholar, Alcuin, in 803 A.D., and has been serving patrons for the 1,200 years since.

    America’s oldest company, meanwhile, has just two century marks under its belt. Perfume and soap company Caswell-Massey was started in 1752 by William Hunter in Newport, Rhode Island. While it’s now owned by a private investment group, Caswell-Massey originally served the wealthy and distinguished clientele in nearby cottages, supplying their medicinal and personal care needs. The company was so wildly popular that explorers Lewis and Clark took Caswell-Massey products with them on their cross-country expedition.

    Many of the companies serving consumers today around the world are relatively new. Some of them, like 15-year-old YouTube, aren’t even of legal drinking age. So today, Stacker has set out to test your knowledge of companies and their histories. Using the J! Archive, which was last updated in 2020, Stacker has chosen a host of questions about businesses from all over the globe. From rental car companies to wholesale warehouses and tech giants, can you guess these 25 companies?

    Read on to test your knowledge.

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  • Clue #1

    - Clue: This company’s first product was wood picture frames; doll furniture made from wood scraps changed its emphasis to toys.
    - Category: Businesses
    - Value: $400
    - Date episode aired: Jan. 25, 2017

  • Answer #1: What is Mattel?

    Founded in 1945 by Harold “Matt” Matson and Ruth and Elliot Handler, Mattel’s first toy was a hit, the Uke-A-Doodle, in 1947. The company’s iconic Barbie doll, created by Ruth, hit store shelves in 1959.

  • Clue #2

    - Clue: In 1915 Thomas Lyle Williams began selling mascara under this brand name that honored his sister.
    - Category: Businesses
    - Value: $3000 (Daily Double)
    - Date episode aired: Jan. 25, 2017

  • Answer #2: What is Maybelline?

    In 1913, Chicago chemist Thomas Williams added carbon dust to the petroleum jelly his sister was using to enhance her eyelashes and eyebrows. Two years later, Williams’ product Maybelline Cake Mascara, named after his sister Maybel Williams, was available via mail order.

  • Clue #3

    - Clue: With businesses hurting, not as many people bought office supplies from this company, stock symbol SPLS.
    - Category: American IDLE 2009
    - Value: $200
    - Date episode aired: Nov. 11, 2009

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  • Answer #3: What is Staples?

    After his typewriter ribbon broke over the Fourth of July holiday weekend in 1985, Tom Stemberg, a former supermarket chain executive, couldn’t get his hands on a new one as all local supplier stores were closed to celebrate. He realized then that people needed a supermarket for office products, and 10 months later Staples was born.

  • Clue #4

    - Clue: Kenneth Lay of this company admitted, “In hindsight, we made some very bad investments in noncore businesses.”
    - Category: Modern-day Quotes
    - Value: $1000
    - Date episode aired: Sept. 8, 2003

  • Answer #4: What is Enron?

    The Enron scandal, news of which broke in October 2001, remains one of the most infamous in American business history. After the accounting fraud scheme was revealed, losses were estimated at $74 billion.

  • Clue #5

    - Clue: In 2000 this company was ordered to split Windows and Internet Explorer into two companies but appealed successfully.
    - Category: Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
    - Value: $1200
    - Date episode aired: July 11, 2019

  • Answer #5: What is Microsoft?

    On April 4, 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen unveiled their new software company, Microsoft. The company’s name is a portmanteau of “microcomputer” and “software.”

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