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HISTORY FACTS * Why the Guinness Book of Records is named after beer *

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HISTORY FACTS * Why the Guinness Book of Records is named after beer * Empty HISTORY FACTS * Why the Guinness Book of Records is named after beer *

Post by Paul Sun 25 Feb 2024, 11:01 am

The “Guinness Book of Records” was created to settle arguments in pubs.




HISTORY FACTS * Why the Guinness Book of Records is named after beer * Scree137




In 1954, Hugh Beaver, the managing director of the Guinness Brewery, began research on a new book of records meant to help settle pub arguments. The idea stemmed from a bird hunting expedition Beaver took in 1951, during which he and other guests debated about the fastest game bird. Unable to find an answer in any extant reference work, Beaver eventually decided to create his own record book to answer such questions. He hired researchers Norris and Ross McWhirter to work at his new company, Guinness Superlatives, which began operations on November 30, 1954. The McWhirter brothers (the twin sons of a newspaper editor) worked tirelessly to research various facts before finally putting pen to paper, and after more than three months of 90-hour workweeks, the record book was ready for publication.




The first issue of the Guinness Book of Records (now named Guinness World Records) was published on August 27, 1955. Initially, the book was intended as promotional material for the Guinness Brewery, so 1,000 copies — which were laminated to protect against potential beer spillage — were distributed to local British pubs. However, the book proved to be so popular that Beaver changed his tack and began selling it to the public. An additional 50,000 copies were printed, and by Christmas of 1955, the Guinness Book of Records achieved bestseller status in the United Kingdom. The company released the first U.S. edition in September the following year, and by 1964, the book had sold more than a million copies worldwide.


By the Numbers



  • Active records in the Guinness database

    62,252




  • Total copies of the Guinness Book of Records sold

    150 million+




  • Pages in the very first Guinness Book of Records

    198




  • Guinness records held by Ashrita Furman (an individual record)

    200+








DID YOU KNOW?

The Guinness Brewery signed a 9,000-year lease in 1759.


The Guinness Brewery has been located in Dublin, Ireland, since 1759, and is likely to remain there for many more years. That’s because on December 31, 1759, founder Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease to convert a brewery at St. James’s Gate in Dublin into a 4-acre brewery of his very own. At the time, lengthy leases were common in Europe, ensuring businesses could be run by families for several generations. Guinness ponied up a down payment of £100 and agreed to pay an annual rent of £45 each year. By the 1770s, Guinness had perfected brewing the stout beer that the company is now known for, and the brewery ceased production on less popular ales by 1799. In the centuries that followed, the brewery expanded to cover 50 acres of land, thus nullifying the original lease — which can be seen on display at the Guinness factory today.
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