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The Guinness Book of World Records is intimately tied to the famous Guinness Brewery, known in particularly for its heady stout beer. The beer long precedes the book. The beer was brewed in the beginning of the 18th century. The book, on the other hand, was not published until 1955.
The Guinness Brewery can only claim partial responsibility for the book. Sir Hugh Beaver was, in 1954, the managing director of the Brewery. On a hunting trip, he got in an argument with a friend regarding the relative quickness of the plover and the grouse. Each man took a stand on which bird was the quickest. Sir Hugh considered the argument upon returning from his trip and felt what was needed was a book that would answer such questions.
In 1951, twins Norris and Ross McWhirter had started a publishing company to research such questions and supply them to periodicals. They had written an article on an athlete employed at Guinness, Christopher Chataway. Chataway introduced Sir Hugh to the brothers. The meeting culminated in a partnership and the beginning of Guinness Superlatives, a publishing company.
The first book sold extremely well, inspiring both the publishing company and the McWhirters to set forth on writing an annual book. In 1975, however, the once happy partnership between the brothers and Guinness ended. Ross McWhirter argued with the Guinness Company regarding their stance on the terrorist attacks being conducted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in London. He offered a reward for information regarding the terrorists and was murdered a few weeks later.
The Guinness Book of World Records holds some of its own records. For instance, it is the book most frequently stolen from libraries. As well, it is the world’s highest selling copyrighted book, with over 100 million books sold in over 30 languages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Guinness Book of World Records connected to Guinness beer?
Yes, the Guinness Book of World Records is indeed connected to Guinness beer. The idea for the record book was conceived by Sir Hugh Beaver, who was the managing director of the Guinness Brewery in the 1950s. He came up with the concept after a debate about the fastest game bird in Europe, realizing there was no reference book to settle such arguments in pubs. The first edition was published in 1955 and was intended as a marketing giveaway to promote the beer.
Why was the Guinness Book of World Records created?
The Guinness Book of World Records was created to provide answers to pub arguments over record-breaking facts and figures. Sir Hugh Beaver, the managing director of Guinness at the time, recognized the need for a record-keeping book during a hunting trip when he couldn't find the answer to which was the fastest game bird in Europe. The book was initially intended to be a promotional item for the brewery to encourage pub-goers to engage in friendly debates while enjoying a pint of Guinness.
How has the Guinness Book of World Records evolved since its inception?
Since its inception, the Guinness Book of World Records has evolved from a promotional brewery giveaway into a global authority on record-breaking achievements. It has expanded its content to include a wide range of categories, from human achievements to natural phenomena. The book is now published annually, with a constantly updated database of records. It has also inspired a television series and various museums, becoming a well-respected brand in its own right, separate from the beer that sparked its creation.
Can anyone attempt to set a record in the Guinness Book of World Records?
Yes, anyone can attempt to set a record in the Guinness Book of World Records. Aspiring record-holders can apply through the official Guinness World Records website, where they must follow specific guidelines and provide evidence for their record attempt. The organization employs a rigorous verification process to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of records. Successful record-breakers receive official certificates recognizing their achievements.
What impact has the Guinness Book of World Records had on popular culture?
The Guinness Book of World Records has had a significant impact on popular culture, inspiring individuals and communities to push the boundaries of human potential. It has become a symbol of human achievement and curiosity, often featured in media and entertainment. The book has encouraged friendly competition and has been used in educational settings to engage students. Its influence can be seen in the numerous record-breaking events organized worldwide, aiming to secure a place in this iconic book.