Special Report

The Oldest Company Logos in America

10. DuPont
> Logo first used: 1907
> Company founded: 1802
> Revenue: $39.5 billion
> Industry: Chemicals

Following its founding as an explosives maker in 1802, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. (NYSE: DD) went on to create a monopoly on gunpowder manufacturing in its first hundred years of existence. Today, DuPont products include Kevlar, a fiber often used in body armor, and Teflon, which is often used to coat cookware to prevent food from sticking. The original logo design included a ribbon entwined among the letters and the words “Established 1802.” According to the company, these elements were not practical when stenciling the logo onto products and were phased out over time. The company’s signature oval design was introduced in 1907. Before 1948, the dimensions of oval were not standardized, which led to numerous variations.

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9. Sherwin-Williams
> Logo first used: 1905sw-logo_old-new
> Company founded: 1866
> Revenue: $9.5 billion
> Industry: Specialty chemicals

The Sherwin-Williams “Cover the Earth” logo, with a can of paint spilling over the planet, was created in the 1890s by George Ford, who headed the company’s advertising. Although there were initial misgivings about the design, general manager Walter Cottingham believed it was a bold depiction for the fast-growing company. By 1905, “Cover the Earth” had replaced a chameleon as the company’s official logo. Today, Sherwin-Williams Co. (NYSE: SHW) is the largest manufacturer of paint and coating in the nation. The company’s revenue of $9.5 billion in 2012 put it among the 300 largest publicly traded companies in the United States in terms of revenue.

8. Goodyear
> Logo first used: 1901goodyear-logo_old-new
> Company founded: 1898
> Revenue: $21.0 billion
> Industry: Rubber and plastics

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (NASDAQ: GT) was founded in 1898 by Frank Seiberling, who named the company after Charles Goodyear — the man who had discovered vulcanization (the process of improving rubber by heating it with sulfur). The company made both bicycle and car tires, and by 1916 it was the world’s largest tire company. In 1900, the company sought to distinguish itself by adopting the wingfoot symbol as its logo. The idea came from a statute of the Roman god Mercury — which had winged feet — that Seiberling had in his home. The first advertisement featuring the wingfoot appeared in 1901. The company has also become famous for the Goodyear Blimps. It has operated such blimps since 1925, and it currently has blimps in California, Ohio, Florida and China.

7. General Electric
> Logo first used: 1900ge-logo_old-new
> Company founded: 1892
> Revenue: $146.9 billion
> Industry: Diversified machinery

General Electric Co.’s (NYSE: GE) trademark was first registered in 1900 as a monogram with the letters GE inside a gray circle. The iconic font of the monogram’s letters was first used in 1892 when the Edison General Electric Company and Thomson-Houston Company were merged. Today, GE is one of the most recognized brands worldwide, selling everything from financial services to light bulbs to airplane engines. Interbrand ranked GE the sixth most valuable brand in the world in 2012, with an estimated value of more than $43 billion. Today, the majority of the company’s revenue comes from outside the United States.

6. Campbell Soup
> Logo first used: 1898campbellsoup-logo_old-new
> Company founded: 1869
> Revenue: $7.7 billion
> Industry: Processed and packaged goods

Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) was founded in 1869 by Joseph Campbell and Abraham Anderson, who later left the company. The first label put on a can of Campbell Soup in 1897 was actually orange and blue. By then, Campbell had retired, though his name stayed with the company. The colors were changed to red and white in 1898 after a company official saw the color scheme of Cornell’s football team and proposed the change. The company added the word “soup” to its official name only in 1922, and the company began publicly trading in 1954. The iconography of the company’s logo and label were immortalized in a series of paintings by Andy Warhol in 1962.

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