The oldest commercial products

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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Surprisingly, Altoids must be a contender.

The history of Altoids dates back to the reign of King George III. The brand was created by a London-based Smith & Company in the 1780s but eventually became part of the Callard & Bowser company in the 19th century. Their advertising slogan has been "The Original Celebrated Curiously Strong Mints" for a number of years, referring to the high concentration of peppermint oil used in the original flavour lozenge. The "Story of Altoids" text is printed on the paper liner inside certain tins...
- wiki Altoids
 

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  • #2
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Tooth Brushes. Egypt and earlier...
 
  • #3
Ivan Seeking
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Tooth Brushes. Egypt and earlier...
I was thinking of products currently produced under the original name, by the same company, or with a definite lineage to the original.
 
  • #4
Ben Niehoff
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The history of Altoids dates back to the reign of King George III. The brand was created by a London-based Smith & Company in the 1780s but eventually became part of the Callard & Bowser company in the 19th century. Their advertising slogan has been "The Original Celebrated Curiously Strong Mints" for a number of years, referring to the high concentration of peppermint oil used in the original flavour lozenge. The "Story of Altoids" text is printed on the paper liner inside certain tins...
There's scarcely any useful information in that paragraph. How many years has that advertising slogan been used? I'd guess since the 1990s, not the 1800s. What was the original candy like? Was it marketed as a breath mint? How many changes did the recipe go through before reaching its modern form, and when did that happen exactly? When were the candies first called "Altoids"? What were they called in 1780?

I strongly suspect that the actual recipe used today only goes back 10-30 years. The Wiki page appears to be mostly an advertisement for Altoids and various related products.
 
  • #5
Evo
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I was just watching bizarre foods which visited a company that makes Funa Zushi and has been in operation since 1619.
 
  • #6
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I would guess alcohol, beer or something, as meeting those "linage" requirements and being really "old".
 
  • #9
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Family owned businesses last for centuries:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16611040

Professor Makoto Kanda, who has studied shinise for decades, says that Japanese companies can survive for so long because they are small, mostly family-run, and because they focus on a central belief or credo that is not tied solely to making a profit.
 
  • #11
Evo
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Chartreuse liqueur, nasty stuff. Really nasty.

Chartreuse is a French liqueur made by the Carthusian Monks since the 1740s.
I know there are older liqueurs that have been in production by monasteries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartreuse_(liqueur))
 
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  • #13
collinsmark
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Chartreuse liqueur, nasty stuff. Really nasty.

I know there are older liqueurs that have been in production by monasteries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartreuse_%28liqueur%29
(Fixed the link)

Chartreuse is a special liqueur though, because the color "chartreuse" was actually named after the liqueur, not the other way around. Ya don't come across that everyday.

I try to keep a bottle of Chartreuse handy, as it's an essential ingredient in the drink "Webster F. Street Layaway Plan." Essentially, it's like a martini but with Chartreuse instead of Vermouth. It's very effective.*

But there are older alcohols than this. Distillation is a comparatively recent invention. There are wine and beer brands that are much older.

*(See John Steinbeck's "Sweet Thursday" for details.)
 
  • #14
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"Green chaud" is a very good use of Chartreuse liqueur. Make yourself some hot chocolate and add Chartreuse. Or use it as "sauce" for chocolate ice cream.

The liqueur is named after the monastery that is still in charge of making it (although it is industrialized now and not make at the monastery anymore. Legend has it that only one monk knows the precise receipe). The monastery is named after the mountain range.

You can visit the brewery but not normally the monastery. You can only get a sneaky peek from above when you hike the mountains, in particular Grand Som.

http://maps.google.fr/maps?q=chartr...&t=h&radius=0.38&hq=chartreuse+grand+som&z=17
 
  • #15
lisab
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An article made me think of this thread:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18261045

Nearly 400 years ago, in 1623, Avedis Zildjian founded a cymbal-manufacturing company in Istanbul.

Now run by 14th generation family member Craigie Zildjian, along with her sister Debbie, the company has outlasted empires, survived a move overseas to the US, and thrived during the economic turmoil of the Great Depression and two World Wars.
Wow, 14 generations!
 
  • #16
turbo
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An article made me think of this thread:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18261045

Wow, 14 generations!
My older neighbors have since moved back to Mass, but one of their sons works producing cymbals for Zidjian. When I was hosting open mic jams, I always brought the drum-kit. The drums were all Fibes and the cymbals were all Zildjians. Quality rules.
 

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