Mr. Peanut’s real name is Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe.
A couple years ago, I did a fact about the origin of Mr. Peanut, the mascot of Planters. And if you read that fact, you may see that I stated that his creator Antonio Gentile called him Mr. Peanut. Well, I’m sad to say that I was wrong about that. But I’m going to rectify that right now. Antonio actually called his creation Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe. I do suppose that Mr. Peanut is easier to remember though.
WD-40 is not patented, which actually protects it from copycats.
Generally people patent their products to make them more secure against copycats. But in the case of WD-40, they had to do the exact opposite to secure it. In fact, WD-40 has little to no competitors. So how do they do that without patenting? The problem with patenting WD-40 is that they would have to disclose their ingredients. This would allow competitors to replicate their formula with slight differences as not to infringe on the patent. Not patenting WD-40 means that they get to keep the formula a secret, which makes it very hard for competitors to replicate.
LEGO has a secret vault containing almost every set they’ve ever made.
This vault is called the LEGO Memory Lane. It is temperature and humidity controlled, fireproof, and located somewhere in Denmark. It stores thousands of different LEGO sets which make up almost every set ever manufactured. Very few people get to see the inside of the vault.
Pinball was once illegal in New York City.
In the 1940’s, Fiorello La Guardai, the mayor of New York City, started to really slam down on gambling laws. He went so far that he actually banned pinball machines. He did this because he believed the the game robbed school children of their money. He would enact raids throughout the city and if any pinball machines were found, he would publicly destroy them with a sledgehammer and dump the remains in a river.
The ban was finally removed in 1976 when a man named Roger Sharpe testified that pinball took skill and had no links to gambling. He actually played a game of pinball in the courtroom and the jury was so impressed by his skill that they decided to remove the ban.
The Danish pastry wasn’t originally from Denmark.
Most people would assume that Danishes originated in Denmark simply because of their name. But that’s not the case. They may have gained popularity in Denmark, but they actually started in Austria. So how did they get over into Denmark? In 1850, bakery workers in Danish bakeries went on strike over their wages. This strike caused the bakery owners to start hiring foreign workers, many of whom were Austrian. But since the Austrian bakers weren’t familiar with Danish recipes, they made Austrian pastries instead. Among these pastries were Plundergebäck, which started to become very popular in Denmark. They became so popular that some Danish bakers slightly modified the recipe to the create the Danish pastry everybody knows today. In Denmark, they are called “wienerbrød”, meaning “Viennese bread”.
Pepsi once made an aerosol so that astronauts could drink Pepsi in space.
Aerosols have many uses, but in 1985 Pepsi decided to make an aerosol so that they could appeal to space market. They wanted astronauts to be able to drink Pepsi without soaking themselves, and an aerosol would have that capability. Unfortunately, the aerosol didn’t go over well because it simply didn’t taste good in aerosol form.
George Lazenby lied about his acting experience to get the role of James Bond.
George Lazenby was a huge fan of James Bond. So was such a huge fan that we wanted to be Bond and was determined to make it happen. So when he heard they were looking for someone new to cast as James Bond, he knew he had to jump on the opportunity. He bought a suit, a Rolex watch and even got his hair cut to look like Sean Connery’s hair. But there was one big problem with this dream of his: he had never acted before in his life. So he lied about it.
He went to the building where they auditions were being held, ran past the secretary, went into to the audition room and said, “I heard you’re looking for James Bond.” He proceeded to tell the producers that he had acted in movies all over the world so that they wouldn’t be able to look him up. And they seemed to be impressed with him. He did eventually tell the director that he wasn’t really an actor, but he was hired anyway because the director was impressed that George could fool everybody at the audition. Unfortunately his career as James Bond lasted for only one movie, but I’m sure that was enough to satisfy his dream.