Saturday, June 07, 2008

Whatever Happened to...

When I was a kid there were certain things that were institutions. Things that would simply be with us at that time and for all time. I was such a romantic. Recently I stumbled about "memorable companies that have vanished." Who would have ever thought that these businesses would ever become history?

Here's a list of some of the more memorable ones for me:

* The DeLorean Automobile. What a beauty. I never owned one, but was always impressed. Remember Back to the Future? Great car.

* The Merry-Go-Round brand, which included Chess King, my favorite clothing store. The article points out that the brand was so trendy, it became irrelevant. All I know, is that I bought a large volume of polyester from that place.

* Lionel Corporation. Lionel the name that spells trains. Sure, we still see the name, but it isn't the same company. The one I enjoyed under my Christmas tree went out of business in 1967.

* RCA. Remember the cute dog looking at the radio? It was symbolic of the discovery of a new media and is indicative of RCA. It wasn't cheap when I was a kid, but it is today since it was acquired by GE and it's parts largely come from China.

* EF Hutton. We all remember the financial firm from the ads (when "EF Hutton talks, people listen") and the scene from one of my favorite movies, Trading Places, in which Eddie Murphy's character steals the scene while reminding us of the firm's popular commercial. Burdened with scandal and pounded by the 1987 stock market crash, this company became history.

* Burger Chef. This was my favorite burger joint as a kid and the company introduced me to kids and value meals. It was bought out by Hardee's and it ceased to exist after 1996.

* Montgomery Wards. That is the place I acquired my first baseball glove, football, and other milestones of my maturation. In spite of the fact I witnessed its continuous decline for years, I was actually surprised to see it go completely under in 2001.

* FW Woolworth. Remember "five and dimes"? I do and I still miss them today. They were a favorite place for every kid when I was growing up.
I only have eight, there's 25 at the list compelled by AOL. Check out the list and see what you are missing...or not.

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Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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