How Did Guinness World Records Begin?

Guinness World Records — originally the Guinness Book of Records — is considered the ultimate authority on record-breaking achievements. What many people don’t know is that it started out as an idea for a book of facts to solve arguments in pubs. In the early 1950s, Sir Hugh Beaver, Managing Director of the Guinness Brewery, attended a shooting party. When he and other competitors got into an argument about the fastest game bird in Europe and failed to find the answer in any reference book, he got the idea for a Guinness promotion that would be based on settling pub arguments. He invited twins Norris and Ross McWhirter, who were fact-finding researchers, to compile a book of facts and figures. The Guinness Superlatives was incorporated on Nov. 30, 1954 and the office opened in two rooms of a converted gym on the top floor of Ludgate House, a commercial building in London. The initial research phase and writing the book took 13½ 90-hour weeks, including weekends and holidays. Today, Guinness World Records is a global brand, with offices in London, New York, Beijing, Tokyo and Dubai. The company of 5,000 employees continues to inspire amazing feats and achievements every day across the globe. Just in case you’re interested, the answer to the initial question about the fastest bird is the red-breasted merganser.