A beastly identity

| Updated on March 10, 2018 Published on December 17, 2015

No slug this! Seen in this picture circa 1978 is a crawler tractor, then claimed to be the world’s largest and most productive, manufactured by Caterpillar Tractor Co.   -  THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Reebok is named for an antelope, famous for its speed.   -  Bijoy Ghosh

The thunderbird is a symbol of power and strength in Native American myth and legend. It was believed that thunder emanated when this supernatural creature flapped its wings. Ford borrowed the name for one of its cars, a two-seat sports roadster, which it made from 1955 to 2005.

Many are the birds and animals that have lent their names to brands. Did you know Reebok got its name from an antelope found in South Africa? The shoe company was originally set up in 1895 and called J. W. Foster and Sons, after the founder. In 1958, two of his grandsons, Joe and Jeff Foster, renamed the company Reebok after finding the name in a South African dictionary Joe Foster won in a running race as a boy.

A name such as Caterpillar for large and heavy entities such as machinery and engines may seem incongrous. But the American firm got the brand name from its company photographer who said the steam tractors, being tested in the early 1900s, were crawling like a caterpillar.

The Greyhound is a well known brand of buses that ply across North America. It was known initially as the Mesaba Transport Company. In the 1920s, a route operator on a trip between two towns in Wisconsin state was reminded of a greyhound when he saw the bus’s reflection in a store window. He adopted that name for that segment but it became popular and later applied to the entire bus network.

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Published on December 17, 2015
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