I’m not going to lie. It isn’t easy. But this article includes a list of 100’s of companies who started during the War and just prior to the start of the pandemic.
I’m in the camp that recognizes like it or not we are in a version of WWIII. I hope I’m wrong.
I grew up in a unique military family and was encouraged by my father’s and uncle’s to become the first Wilkerson not to be involved in the military. Our family had ties all the way back to the Revolutionary war. But that’s a whole other story.
I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit and have had to do some interesting consulting work over the past few months.
Yes, you can grow and launch your business during a war and a pandemic – but you may want to consider celebrating your successes internally rather than externally. I’ll get into that a little bit later, but in general with so many bigger things going on in the world celebrating is better delayed. Especially, on social media.
So, let’s look at the time frame of World War 1 and the last major pandemic
WW 1 July 28, 1914 – November 11, 1918
Great Influence 1918 – 20
I’m fortunate that I was born later so my Grandfather fought in WW1 and I would talk to him all the time about the war. My dad and uncles of course would talk to me about WWII. Well two of them would talk. One just could talk to anybody about it and I totally got that perspective.
All of those conversations had a theme of how difficult things were, but that new fresh things would emerge.
With that in mind I wanted to compile a list of a variety of companies around the world that were founded between 1914-18, survived the pandemic, and even WW II. Some of these names will be familiar. Many are worth looking up.
Most of you are not trying to start things that will go for over 100 years, but it is achievable.
Here are some companies that got founded in 1914 – Chicken of the Sea, Dodge, Greyhound Bus Lines, Maserati, Merrill Lynch, Speedo International, BNG Bank, Choya Umeshu, Puig, Haglöfs, and Glycine Watch.
Established in 1915 – many railroad companies, Wendt & Kühn, some film companies, Gujarat Tea Processors & Packers Ltd, and Caran d’Ache
Launched in 1916 – Auto-Owners Insurance, Auto-Ordnance Company (Tommy Guns), Boeing, many automobile companies, Global Tungsten & Powders Corp., Halls, Modine Manufacturing, Oxford Clothes, Phillips Foods, Inc. and Seafood Restaurants, Sinclair Oil Corporation, Thomas Built Buses, Wegmans, Busabout Wagga Wagga, Rosman Ferries, Codan A/S, BMW, Piraeus Bank, Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited, Karur Vysya Bank, Parsi Dairy Farm, The Bangalore Press, Acqua di Parma, Coin, Kappa, Zanussi, Meiji Seika, Nippon Kayaku, NSK Ltd., Kings Bay, Philippine National Bank, Investor AB, and Nyon–St-Cergue–Morez Railway
Started in 1917 – Many railroads, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Cushman & Wakefield, Fellowes Brands, G&L Clothing, Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company, Lincoln Motor Company, Magnavox, Niemann Foods, Omaha Steaks, Parker Hannifin, Sunsweet Growers, Washington Federal, Commonwealth Railways, GrainCorp, Sims Metal Management, Wallace Bishop, Miller Group (construction company), Brødrene Hartmann, Karberghus, Sparta B.V., Ulstein Group, Groupe Latécoère, Pune District Central Cooperative Bank, Deutsche Bank (Italy), Ajinomoto, Meidensha, Mikasa Sports, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, Morinaga Milk Industry, Takamatsu Construction Group, Toto Ltd., Toyo Seikan, Tsubakimoto Chain, Yokohama Rubber Company, Farmacias Benavides, and Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles.
Began in 1918 – Celanese, D&H Distributing, Darigold, DiBella’s, Hertz, Merchants Insurance Group, New York & Company, Oakhurst Dairy, Oberto Snacks Inc., Quaker Chemical Corporation, Tuscan Dairy Farms, Universal Corporation, Victor Technology, Zenith Electronics, Comsteel, Hansen Yuncken, Inghams Enterprises, Lassonde Industries, Maritime Electric, Etos, Luvos, Matthias-Grünewald-Verlag, Attica Group, IISCO Steel Plant, J. K. Organisation, Orissa Minerals Development Company, Saraswat Co-operative Bank Ltd, West Bengal State Co-Operative Bank, Tokai Carbon, Citizen Watch, Fuji Fire and Marine Insurance, Kansai Paint, Kawasaki Aerospace Company, Kuwahara (bicycle company), Marubeni, Nippon Sheet Glass, Nitto Boseki, Nitto Denko, NTN Corporation, Panasonic, Pilot (pen), Takaya, Teijin, Tokuyama Corporation, Zojirushi, Belships, Bjørnøen, OGMA, Soares da Costa, Hotel Majestic (Barcelona), Majestic Hotel Group, Clas Ohlson, Mido, and Schweizer Getraenke AG, Obermeilen.