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Posted By: dagwoodsystems Origins of Company Names - 12/07/08 01:47 PM
Ever wonder what the story was behind a company's name? We all know about AT&T, IBM, Gillette and Nabisco. But what about some of the funkier ones?

Well, I found this killer Wikipedia article listing company names and etymologies.

Does anyone know if the story about Mitel is true? The explanation of how THX got it's name is a little misguided, but the one about A&M Records is spot on.

Fun stuff in any case!
Posted By: mdaniel Re: Origins of Company Names - 12/07/08 01:52 PM
Interesting Tim.
Thanks for the link.
Posted By: dagwoodsystems Re: Origins of Company Names - 12/07/08 01:56 PM
I like that kind of stuff. When we were in Maine, you probably remember me asking you about the name "Walker".
Posted By: EV607797 Re: Origins of Company Names - 12/07/08 03:07 PM
"Verizon – a portmanteau of veritas (Latin for truth) and horizon".

I think they lied.

I don't know what is more interesting about that list:

The fact that I've never heard of most of them;
The fact that I knew as many of them as I did;
The fact that many of them are so painfully obvious.

By the way, I'm not buying the Mitel one. Didn't their name spawn from Mississauga Telephone in Ontario years ago?
Posted By: RATHER BE FISHING Re: Origins of Company Names - 12/07/08 03:12 PM
In Mitel school they told of the origin. Mike and Terry were two neighbors who had a passion for lawn mowers and small engine repair. They lived next door and got tired off running back and forth to each others house to talk so they developed a primitive intercom system between the two homes. Later adding features it evolved into MITEL. Mike and Terry's Lawnmowers. Originaly in Florida.
Posted By: MacGyver Re: Origins of Company Names - 12/07/08 03:42 PM
I was once part of a partnership formed to purchase a company, and then sell off its assets to buyers we had already secured. We worked the details out over coffee at a Denny's by Parkland Hospital in Dallas. The name of the company became The DBR Group for "Denny's Board Room."
Posted By: hbiss Re: Origins of Company Names - 12/07/08 03:50 PM
I don't see COMSYSTEC in there.

-Hal
Posted By: 5Etek-mike Re: Origins of Company Names - 12/07/08 04:02 PM
I couldn't find it on the list, but one of my all-time favorites: AG Communications Systems

(My apologies for the long post, but I found the story very interesting, and thought this would be an excellent place to share it.)

Almon B. Strowger was an undertaker in Kansas City. The story goes that there was a competing undertaker locally whose wife was an operator at the local (manual) telephone exchange. Whenever a caller asked to be put through to Strowger, calls were deliberately put through to his competitor. This obviously frustrated Strowger so much that he set out to devise a system which did away with the "human" part of the equation. With the help of his nephew (Walter S. Strowger) Almon produced a working model in 1888.

Although Strowger did not invent the idea of automatic switching (it was first invented in 1879 by Connolly & McTigthe), Strowger was the first to put it into effective use. Together with Joseph B. Harris and Moses A. Meyer, Strowger formed his company 'Strowger Automatic Telephone Exchange' in October 1891.

In the late 1890's Almon B. Strowger retired and eventually died in 1902. In 1901, Joseph Harris licenced the Strowger selectors to the Automatic Electric Co. (AE); the two companies merged in 1908.

The company still exists today as AG Communications Systems (currently owned by Alcatel-Lucent).

Long Live The GTD-5! :bow: :bow: :bow:
Posted By: jeffmoss26 Re: Origins of Company Names - 12/07/08 05:25 PM
From what I heard, the Mitel story is true...they were supposed to sell these lawnmowers, but the shipments never arrived.
Funny enough, my dad's name is Jerry Moss, (same as the guy from A&M Records) and we took his picture by the Hollywood Walk of Fame star a few years back!
Posted By: sentrex1 Re: Origins of Company Names - 12/07/08 05:50 PM
interesting thanks for the link
Posted By: jimmyv Re: Origins of Company Names - 12/08/08 04:06 AM
I don't remember where this came from, but here it is...

Mitel’s origins lie in the early 1970s in the Canadian capital Ottawa. Terry Matthews had trained as a Post Office engineer long before the UK State Communications Group became BT and decided to make his home in Canada after vacationing there. He started working in Northern Electric's (Nortel's) research laboratories. It was there that he met Mike Cowpland, another UK emigré. In 1972 the pair left to set up a business importing cordless electric Webb lawnmowers from England. Its name is a combination of the founders’ first names and their first product - MIke and TErry's Lawnmowers. Their first shipment, due in the spring became lost in transit and the two feared their container had slid overboard in mid-Atlantic. In fact, all the shipping papers were lost and the shipping company didn't know where they were to go. The mowers finally arrived in September - and “you can't even give away lawnmowers in North America in September," he says. That was a big lesson in business for me - timing is absolutely everything." Needless to say there was no cash flow, So Mike and Terry decided to fall back to their skills in telecom.
Posted By: DigitelD Re: Origins of Company Names - 12/10/08 06:06 AM
When I went to Mitel school the instructor told us that the story of the name is absolutely true.
Posted By: CMDL_GUY Re: Origins of Company Names - 12/10/08 08:19 AM
MIke and TErry's Lawnmowers

I received the same explanation in a Mitel school also.
Posted By: jimmyv Re: Origins of Company Names - 12/10/08 08:34 AM
You go to school for phones and find out it is a lawnmower company… If it doesn’t operate properly, sharpen the blade.
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