Guinness: From Beer to Records
While out hunting on the coast of Ireland in 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, managing director of Guinness Brewery, got in a debate about which game bird was the fastest in Europe. Sir Hugh claimed that it was the plover (probably because he couldn’t hit one), but his friends insisted it was the grouse. That evening, he searched for the answer in his host’s extensive library, but came up empty-handed.
Back in England, Sir Hugh consulted all the encyclopedias he could find, but still had no luck. This led to his eureka moment: there should be a definitive reference book to settle the similar debates that must be going on in pubs all over Britain and Ireland. In addition, it would be a great marketing tool—drinkers who could say “I told you so!” would be more likely to drink beer brewed by the publishers of the book that proved them right.
Next, Sir Hugh found the perfect partners, Norris and Ross McWhirter, twins with photographic memories who ran an agency supplying sports trivia to British newspapers. The twins went to work compiling the world’s largest, smallest, fastest and tallest, completing the first edition of the Guinness Book of Records in just 16 weeks. The almanac rolled off the presses in August 1955, and was at the top of the British bestseller list by Christmas.
The Guinness Book of Records was launched in the U.S. the following year, selling 70,000 copies. Because of the book’s growing success, the publishers decided to put out a new edition each year. Now known as Guinness World Records, the almanac is available in 26 languages in 100 countries around the world.
extensive (a.) 廣泛的，廣大的
encyclopedia (n.) 百科全書
agency (n.) 代理商
compile (v.) 匯整，編輯