THE BRANDING OF AMERICA by Ronald Hambleton

THE BRANDING OF AMERICA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A thoroughly engaging potpourri of short-take bios on over three-score men and one woman whose surnames have become bywords in the marketplace. Hambleton, a columnist for Marketing (a Canadian trade publication in which these collected profiles first appeared), divides his subjects into six broad categories. For openers, there are such household names as Gall Borden, Henry John Heinz, Lewis B. Maytag, Jacob Schick, and Isaac Singer (who put finishing--and vastly profitable--touches on the sewing machine invented by Elias Howe). Also recorded are the enduring achievements of engineers, scientists, and tinkerers. Among those on the author's honor roll: John Deere, George Washington Gale Ferris (creator of the amusement-park wheel), George Westinghouse, and Linus Yale. Gunsmiths and transport pioneers rate separate mention in Hambleton's book; he offers anecdotal briefings on Louis Chevrolet, Colonel Samuel Colt, Ransom E. Olds, George M. Pullman (of railroad sleeping-car fame), Horace Smith and Daniel Baird Wesson, and Henry Wells and William Fargo. Last but not least comes a group of individuals here characterized as hucksters, traders, and merchants. Their ranks encompass the oddly coupled likes of Elizabeth Arden (the commercial pseudonym adopted by Florence Nightingale Graham in 1910), Sebastian Spering Kresge (founding father of what is now the K-Mart chain), Madison Avenue's J. Walter Thompson, Charles Lewis Tiffany (the retailer), and his son, Louis Comfort (the lamps, etc.). A first-rate celebration of those whose names have outlived their fame, which should prove a real treat for business as well as trivia buffs. There will be photographs, plus reproductions of old advertisements and corporate logos (not seen).

Pub Date: March 1st, 1987
Publisher: Yankee