Nintendo! The makers of Mario, Zelda, Metroid and hundreds of award winning games. Their consoles have been essential childhood companions since the eighties. From the older NES to the modern Switch, it might not surprise you if someone said, “Nintendo is an old company”. But, just how old do you think? Really? You might, at a push, suggest sometime in the 1960s. And yet that’s still way too young. Nintendo was actually founded a whopping 128 years ago in 1889! Nintendo were veterans of childhood entertainment long before anyone had even thought of combining the words “video” and “game”. How exactly? Well, they sold toys, card games, and board games and were pretty good at it too.
IBM are the hyper-futuristic company responsible for half the bits in your computer. They make servers, hard drives, CPUs and other fancy sounding stuff that has been keeping the digital world running for decades. But, they before computers were even invented IBM were busy organising the world’s information. They were actually founded 106 years ago in 1911 where they ran complicated systems that used punch-cards for other companies.
Nokia are perhaps most famous for making the 3210 mobile phone. For those of us old enough to remember the 3210 was a classic of the early mobile era, and was renowned for a long battery and robust build that meant it never broke. Looking at Nokia’s history it’s not all that surprising they made such a strong phone. Since 1865, when the company started with a pulp-mill, Nokia has also made cables, gas-masks, military-grade communication equipment, and even tyres. With such hefty experience behind it, no wonder the 3210 was so well made!
Samsung is another company famous for its mobile phones! They also produce a generic range of electronics, such as televisions and speakers. It might surprise you then to know they were originally founded in 1938! Stranger still they started out selling noodles and dried fish. Even stranger is that Samsung, like Nokia, also dabbled in making and selling military-grade equipment. In this case, full blown missile-systems. That means the same people who make the Galaxy range of smartphones also make lethal weapons of war, which is pretty strange when you think about it.
Siemens are perhaps most famous for making televisions and having an iffy name. Like Samsung you’ll probably know them best for having their name on a pair of speakers, or your TV, or a radio. Generally though, Siemens make high-tech gadgets and high-end electronics. But you might also be interested to know that Siemens is a shocking 160 years old and has also made trains, medical equipment, electrical infrastructure and much more!