16 Companies That Started Out Life With A Different Name

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They’re names you probably come into contact with every day — Walmart, McDonald’s, Nike, and more — but they were once newcomers on the scene, with names they shed years ago.

The internet never forgets, however, so we’ve brought together a few of the most interesting name changes from the last few hundred years or so for your perusing pleasure.

1. Walmart

Formerly known as: Walton’s 5&10, Sam Walton’s original store in 1950. He opened his first Walmart in 1962.

2. McDonald’s

Formerly known as: McDonald’s Bar-B-Que, the first restaurant opened by the McDonald brothers Mac and Dick in 1940. It was renamed McDonald’s in 1948, and was franchised by Ray Kroc starting in 1955.

3. Subway

Formerly known as: Peter’s Super Submarines, before the company switched to its current name in 1968.

4. IBM

Formerly known as: Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation. It was founded in 1911 as a holding company of manufacturers of record-keeping and measuring systems, before adopting the name International Business Machines Corporation in 1924.

5. Clorox

Formerly known as: Electro-Alkaline Company, which was founded in 1913, and reorganized as the Clorox Chemical Corporation in 1922.

6. Jaguar

Formerly known as: Swallow Sidecar Company until the company merged with the British Motor Corporation in 1966, and then in 1968 merged with Leyland Motor Company to create British Leyland. It’s now one of the Jaguar Land Rover brands manufactured in the UK and owned by Indian company Tata Motors.

7. Nike

Formerly known as: Blue Ribbon Sports, starting in 1964, when the company was a distributor for the Japanese shoemaker Onitsuka Tiger. It became Nike Inc. in 1971.

8. Utz Potato Chips

Formerly known as: Hanover Home Brand Potato Chips, until it was incorporated as Utz Potato Chip Company in 1947.

9. Paypal

Formerly known as: Confinity, which was a company that developed security software for handheld devices. It launched PayPal as a money transfer service in 1999, before officially adopting the PayPal name in 2001.

10. London Fog

Formerly known as: Londontown Clothing Company, until the London Fog brand was born in 1954.

11. Western Union

Formerly known as: The New-York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company for five years until it changed its name in 1856.

12. Best Buy

Formerly known as: Sound of Music, an electronics store opened by Richard Schulze in 1966 in St. Paul, MN that specialized in high fidelity stereos. The chain was renamed Best Buy Company, INc. in 1983.

13. Sunkist Growers, Inc.

Formerly known as: The Southern California Fruit Exchange in 1893 before changing its name in 1905.

14. Samsonite

Formerly known as: The Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company until it formally changed its name to Samsonite in 1966, after one of its most popular suitcases.

15. Yahoo

Formerly known as: Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web. Stanford University graduate students Jerry Yang and David Filo renamed their World Wide Web index in 1995.

16. eBay

Formerly known as: Auction Web, a site that was started over Labor Day weekend in 1995 by entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar. The name was changed to eBay in mid-1997.

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