The Guinness Book of World Records was created to settle bar arguments

Beyond ingredients and recipes, Guinness has used aggressive exporting and clever marketing to become a global brand.

The official origin story for the Guinness Book of World Records, the annual book that catalogs all of human achievement, is that it was used to settle an argument over whether the golden plover or the red grouse is the fastest game bird in Europe. (It’s the plover). One of the people arguing, Sir Hugh Beaver, the Managing Director of the Guinness Brewery, noted that the answer was hard to find in reference books. So he started one to settle these kinds of trivial arguments and the Guinness Book of World Records was born in 1955.

Guinness World Records

Sir Hugh Beaver, managing director of the world famous Irish brewery Guinness

Sir Hugh Beaver realizes that the answers to their arguments are very difficult to find in reference books. So in 1954 he remembered the argument he had at the party and from there he got the idea for brewing Guinness.

Sir Beaver’s idea was a promotion for Guinness that would discuss companies that helped resolve such arguments at the drinking bar.

So he invited the twins Ross McWhirter and Norris McWhirter, two fact-finding researchers from London, to compile fact and number books from around the world.

Guinness Book of Records: Norris; McWhirter, Ross Mcwhirter

Ross McWhirter and Norris McWhirter

They have a research period and then start writing a book that they do very intensively without a vacation, completing it quickly in 14 weeks.

Work on the book began in two rooms of a converted gym in London and the McWhirter twins did not know that they were working on a book which later became a globally recognized and trusted brand for a world record.

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