Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

midnightsmum (Z4, ON)October 16, 2011

Well, another sunny Sunday morning, but it is very windy and cool. I am hoping for a ride to do some shopping!

In 1833, shopkeeper Marcus Samuel decided to expand his London business. He sold antiques, but now added oriental shells. He aimed to capitalise on a fashion for using them in interior design. His instinct was right - such was the demand that Samuel quickly began importing shells from the Far East, laying the foundations for his import/export business. His sons later took over the shop, and expanded the business. It is now one of the largest multinational corporations in the world. What company are we talking about??

I'll be back later!!

Nancy.

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cyn427 (zone 7)

Ooooh, great question. I feel as though I really should be able to figure this out, so off to clean and ruminate.

Cynthia

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 11:02AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Think I have it! Wow, that didn't take long if I am right.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 11:05AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Why is the color yellow drifting through my mind....

Annette

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 11:05AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Maybe I am wrong. My thought has to do with what I thought was a LAST name...

I may buy a lottery ticket this week. Another thought just came to me, but I think that one is an American business.

Will wait for clues to see if I am at all close.

Cynthia

Cynthia

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 11:53AM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

I think Cynthia and I both zeroed in on the name Marcus.

Waiting and seeing,
TM

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 12:15PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

If it is the company I am thinking of I see a yellow and red shell. We had one of those establishments in our town though patronized one with a blue and red symbol.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 1:11PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Me too mnwsgal, going through my mind was a flower bed of this design made up of yellow marigolds and red salvia. Not my favorite color combos but might look good outside a Shell station :). This came to mind after putting shells and the middle east together LOL.

Annette

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 1:48PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Missed the Middle East reference. Oh well. No stars for me.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 1:55PM
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midnightsmum (Z4, ON)

I think two of you have it....

This is what the first logo , circa 1900, looked like. It is called a 'Pecten'. It is not an American company, but it does have a flourishing corporate presence in North America.

Nancy.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 1:56PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Well not knowing if I'm right or not, the mention of shells and companies made me think oil, that in turn made me think not far east but middle east LOL.

Annette

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 2:53PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Well, coming from oil rich Alberta where so much controversey is surrounding the Keystone pipeline running all the way to Texas, I can't help but get this one.

Back out to the garden. I still have red and yellow tulips to plant.

Ginny

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 3:52PM
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midnightsmum (Z4, ON)

Well, it is hard to fool you guys!! I always thought this was a great story:
Little did shopkeeper Marcus Samuel realise, when he decided to expand his London business, that he was laying the foundations of one of today's leading energy companies. The market for oil remained confined to lighting and lubricants until, in 1886, the internal combustion engine and demand for gasoline arrived with Karl Benz and the first Mercedes. By now the Samuel business had passed to Marcus Samuel junior and his brother Sam. They exported British machinery, textiles and tools to newly industrialising Japan and the Far East and on return imported rice, silk, china and copperware to the Middle East and Europe. In London, they traded in commodities such as sugar, flour and wheat worldwide. It was during a trip to Japan that Marcus became interested in the oil exporting business then based in Baku, Russia. The Rothschilds had invested heavily in the 1880s in rail and tunnels to overcome the transport difficulties of getting oil from this landlocked base to the Black Sea and from there to overseas markets. Shipping still posed a problem as the oil was carried in barrels, which could leak and took up much space in the ship's hold. Marcus and Sam commissioned a fleet of steamers to carry oil in bulk, using for the first time the Suez Canal. They also set up bulk oil storage at ports in the Far East and contracted with Bnito, a Russian group of producers controlled by the Rothschilds, for the long-term supply of kerosene.
Their strategy was high-risk: if news of their operations got out they would be squeezed out by Rockefeller's dominant Standard Oil. With the maiden voyage of the first bulk tanker, the "Murex", through the Suez Canal in 1892 the Samuels had achieved a revolution in oil transportation. Bulk transport substantially cut the cost of oil by enormously increasing the volume that could be carried. The Samuel brothers initially called their company The Tank Syndicate but in 1897 renamed it the Shell Transport and Trading Company.
The rest, as they say, is history - Marcus Samuel's dependence on Russian producers left him vulnerable and he decided to seek other sources of oil. The Far East was the obvious place to look and his first venture into Borneo brought him up against Royal Dutch Petroleum, one of the region's biggest competitors. The two companies joined forces to protect themselves against the might of Standard Oil, forming a sales organisation in 1903, the Asiatic Petroleum Company. The discovery of oil in Texas offset a series of troubles which had affected both companies.

In 1904, the scallop shell or pecten replaced Shell Transport's first marketing logo, a mussel shell. In various forms it has remained in use ever since, becoming one of the best known corporate symbols in the world.

Shell by the numbers:
90 countries where we operate
93,000 number of employees
48% of our production is natural gas
16.8 million tonnes of LNG* sold (2010)
3.3 million barrels of gas and oil we produce every day
43,000 Shell service stations worldwide
145 billion litres of fuel sold (2010)
30 refineries and chemical plants we run

So, for mnswgal, Annette, Honalee - TM and Cyn, not sure?

Thanks All, for playing/ The trivia makes the weekend go fast!!

Nancy.

* - liquified natural gas

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 11:05AM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

Nope, no stars for me; I was clueless. How funny that they imported shells and then became Shell Oil. I would never have made the connection. Good one, Nancy.

TM

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 11:14AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Nor for me-I was heading toward Neiman Marcus-well figuratively that is.

Very interesting story. I may run this one past the family at Thanksgiving or when we are just hanging out. Always fun, Nancy!

Cynthia

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 5:11PM
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