The history of technology is a subject that fascinates me. Although individuals have long invented things, much technological advancement comes from corporations. As part of that interest, I keep a list of company names and their meanings. This topic came to mind earlier today when I wrote a short post about the death of Ken Olsen, the founder of Digital Equipment Corporation which then became DEC until it went to just plain Digital. Digital was taken over by Compaq which was then merged into HP (Hewlett-Packard). Here are some other company names and their stories:
ABN AMRO – A home mortgage lender and bank. In 1991, the Algemene Bank Nederland (ABN) merged with Amsterdamsche Bank and Rotterdamsche Bank (AMRO)
Arby’s – The roast beef sandwich place. The company was created by Raffel Brothers whose initials, RB, are pronounced Arby.
BMW – The car company. Bayerische Motoren Werken (i.e., Bavarian Motor Works).
Esso – The oil company that became Exxon. Originally Standard Oil whose initials, SO, are pronounced Esso.
Starbucks – The coffee franchise. Named after Starbuck, a character in “Moby Dick”