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Topic: Perspective

How Gatorade, a College Coach's Concoction, Created a $12.5 Billion Industry

The original thirst quencher

Michael Jordan made Gatorade famous the night he nearly killed himself. It was Game 5 of the NBA finals in 1997, the series tied at 2-2. The Chicago Bulls' legendary…

How Pop-Tarts Has Stayed Hot for Over 50 Years

Breakfast from the toaster? Still an appetizing idea

Food technologist Bill Post devised a lot of unusual foodstuffs at the Kellogg's plant he supervised in Grand Rapids, Mich., and he also devised a great way of testing all…

How Silly Putty Became the World’s Most Malleable Toy

A bungled WWII chemistry experiment saved by an adman

A few days shy of Christmas 1968, the Apollo 8 mission blasted off from Cape Kennedy, Fla., with Captain James Lovell and two other astronauts aboard. The mission would accomplish…

Why Tabasco Is the Kick-Ass Condiment That's Been Making People Sweat for 147 Years

The little-known genesis of the secret sauce

The Civil War was one of the most devastating events in American history, but food scholars point to at least one good thing that came from it: It's why there's…

How Swanson’s TV Dinners Made It to the Digital Age

Thank American Airlines, 260 tons of turkey and dudes who still can’t cook

C.A. Swanson & Company had a big problem. It was just after Thanksgiving 1953, and the frozen-food brand had wildly overestimated the demand for turkey. Now, 260 tons of frozen…

The Myth and Magic of WD-40, the Cold War Lube That Changed America

Admit it: You’ve got at least one can at home

According to the most recent census, there are 115,227,000 households in America, and they don't have a lot in common. Only 33 percent have kids, 18 percent are millionaires, and…

How Starving Artists, Students and Strivers Made Cup Noodles Great

The 3-minute meal that’s been eaten 30 billion times

See if you can identify the product associated with the following directions: "Pull back lid. Fill with boiling water. Let stand for three minutes. Stir well and enjoy." Well, you either…

Why Cuba’s Best Cigar Is Still Hot (Despite a 52-Year Embargo)

The full-flavored story of H. Upmann, JFK’s favorite smoke

It was Friday, Feb. 2, 1962, and President John F. Kennedy summoned his press secretary Pierre Salinger into his office for an urgent meeting. "I really need some help," said Kennedy. "What…

How Sony's Walkman Changed the World

Before CDs and MP3s, this little machine made music portable

Andreas Pavel was getting tired of being laughed at. It was 1977, and the German-born inventor had made appointments at all of the major electronics companies—Yamaha, Grundig, ITT, etc.—and each…

Why the Magic 8 Ball Still Holds Our Fascination

Can a classic toy stay relevant? Signs point to yes

Abe Bookman's toy was a flop. He should have seen it coming. After all, the toy was a fortune-telling device. It was 1950, and for the previous four years, Bookman's company…

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