From Startups to Giants: 60 Amazing Facts About American Companies

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Kroger uses infrared sensors to track customers in their stores. An algorithm then decides how many checkout lines need to be open to reduce wait times.

2. Who framed Roger Rabbit is loosely based off of a true conspiracy by General Motors to purchase and dismantle streetcar systems in American cities between 1938-1950. They bought out companies that operated electric streetcars across the USA and fully replaced them with buses, which were reliant on foreign oil.

3. When a hurricane is expected, Wal-Mart’s top-selling items are strawberry Pop-Tarts and beer. It is a more popular prep item than bottled water.

4. A small, single-story building at 1209 North Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware is the registered home of over 6,500 corporations and more than 200,000 businesses, such as Google, American Airlines, Apple, GM, Coca-Cola, KFC, Verizon Internet Services, and Deutsche Bank.

5. In 1993, insurance company State Farm paid $145 million in punitive damages for having a “Jew list” to discriminate against claimants.

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6Costco Audits

Costco Audits

Costco audits the companies it buys from to see if working conditions are good, such as people being forced to work overtime to create their products.

7. Two Bell Lab Employees (aka AT&T ) found a “noise” while testing a new horn radio. Unable to discover the source they pointed radio to space and found the same “white noise”, this led to the accidental discovery of Cosmic Background Radiation that confirmed the Big Bang Theory.

8. Bank of America once mistakenly foreclosed a couple, who sued and won a judgment for $2500 in Legal expenses. When the bank didn't pay the couple, they showed up at the bank with a moving company, a deputy, and a writ allowing them to foreclose the bank and start seizing furniture and cash.

9. AT&T almost caused a nuclear war in 1961. When the USA lost contact with its early warning systems, assuming that the USSR had attacked, bombers were scrambled but recalled when contact was made with an EWS base. The phone blackout was caused by a faulty AT&T switch they had promised to replace.

10. Costco sells $400 million of toilet paper a year. It is often their best selling product.

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11General Electric

General Electric

General Electric in Schenectady, New York has the zip code 12345 and they receive thousands of letters to Santa yearly from kids who guess Santa’s address. Employees there often use their breaks to write response letters.

12. In 2007, a Chicago man faked his own death to get out of a Verizon Wireless contract.

13. Ford slowly sped up the car production line until workers couldn't cope. Unions were formed with the agreement that production line speeds couldn't be altered unless agreed upon.

14. In 2005, a German court upheld the right of citizens to flirt at work in response to Wal-Mart Germany’s policy banning any sign of attraction between its workers. The court said that such regulations may be acceptable in the US, but they are incompatible with German labor law and employees’ personal rights.

15. Target Retail Corporation has 2 U.S. based forensic labs where they solve retail crimes, felonies, homicides, and special circumstances cases for law bureaus that need the extra manpower, facilities, resources and time – free of charge.

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16Edwin Armstrong

Edwin Armstrong

NBC and AT&T used corporate and government bullying to destroy the life of Edwin Armstrong, inventor of the FM radio, leading to his suicide.

17. One of the biggest companies you’ve never heard of is Acxiom. It gathers information on some 700 million people, with up to 1,500 data points per person, for ultra-targeted marketing. Their database is detailed enough to list the people who buy a particular brand of cereal in your local supermarket.

18. FedEx uses several empty cargo planes that roam the country’s skies overnight in circuitous flight paths, ready to divert on demand in order to accommodate unexpected package volume.

19. Mexican shamans began to use Coca-Cola in their religious rituals to heal worshippers. When PepsiCo discovered this, they offered commissions to shamans for using Pepsi instead. When Coca-Cola began paying too, rival religious groups were formed based on which soft drink they used.

20. General Motors chemist Thomas Midgley Jr. invented both chlorofluorocarbons and leaded gasoline, having “more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth’s history.”

21Answering Machine

Answering Machine

AT&T made a working answering machine in 1939 but suppressed it, thinking public fear of being recorded would lead to widespread abandonment of the telephone.

22. Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, American Airlines and two other corporations released a movie called Proud American in 2008. The movie featured an overly-patriotic storyline about the wonders of American life. It was a failure, and became IMDB's worst movie of the 2000's.

23. Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit apologized for Citigroup’s board of directors’ misuse of bailout money on increasing his salary, condemned their purchase of a private jet plane, and worked for 2 years for only $1 a year until they returned to profitability.

24. Ford was the first American Company to give its workers both Saturday and Sunday off, in hope that it would encourage more leisure use of automobiles, and thus popularizing the idea of the “weekend.”

25. In order to stand out from competing catalogs, Sears simply printed their catalogs on smaller paper so when a stack of catalogs were delivered, theirs would always be on top.

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