Did you know that some of the companies in operation today have had their doors open for HUNDREDS of years? There aren’t too many businesses that have survived the Great Depression, both World Wars, the Civil War, and all of the other big world-shaking events that have happened in the last millennia, but the few that have are still going as strong as ever.
Here are the 10 oldest businesses in the world that are still going strong:
Gun manufacturer Beretta was founded in 1526, when gunsmith Maestro Bartolomeo Beretta was hired by the Arsenal of Venice to make arquebus barrels. It is said that the 1526 bill of sale is safely enshrined in the company’s archives. The company now turns out roughly 1,500 weapons EVERY DAY!
Royal Grolsch NV is Holland’s second-largest brewer of beer. Though it may not be the largest company internationally, it is known for being a premier beer that every connoisseur is familiar with. The beer company celebrated its 400th birthday in 2015.
Founded in 1627, the Haig whisky distillery is the oldest Scotch distillery in the world. For nearly 400 years, Haig has produced top shelf whisky, and any whisky drinker will be familiar with the three-sided pinched decanter that is the Haig trademark.
You may not have heard of this company, but you’ll find that it’s one of the oldest ironworks companies in the world. Started in Finland in 1649, the company has produced kitchen knives, farming tools, scissors, steam engines, and many other things. It even has its own trademark color, Fiskars Orange.
#5 Royal Delft
This porcelain factory in the Netherlands is the only remaining factory in the region that produces porcelain items by hand. It was first founded in 1653 and is still producing top-quality porcelain to this day.
#6 London Gazette
The London Gazette was founded way back in 1665 and is the oldest surviving British newspaper company. It was inaugurated as the Oxford Gazette, but within a few months moved to London and adopted its current name.
#7 Sveriges Riksbank
Founded in 1668, this is considered the oldest central bank in the world. Located in Stockholm, Sweden, the bank has a rich, fascinating history, including going bankrupt, its owner nearly being executed then being granted clemency and more.
#8 Lloyd’s of London
Edward Lloyd’s Coffee House opened its doors in 1688, but it became the best place in the city to obtain shipping and marine insurance. To this day, Lloyd’s provides specialized insurance for just about anything and everything--even satellites!
Founded in 1706, Twinings is the world’s oldest surviving tea company. Thomas Twinings actually introduced tea drinking to the British!
British bookseller Samuel Baker held the very first auction in Sotheby’s back in 1744, selling over 450 books belonging to Sir John Stanley. Sotheby’s Holdings is now one of the world’s most prestigious auction houses, selling items ranging from masterpieces of art to ancient artifacts to priceless jewelry.
It’s amazing that some of these businesses have survived for so long! It would be fascinating to learn about the tough business decisions they had to make to keep their doors open through so many hard times over the years…
See also: Top 10 Best Places to Work for 2015
Do you think any of the businesses opened in recent times will last this long? Your thoughts and comments below please...