August 18, 2015

The content of the first email ever sent. Credit: Whatknot / Flickr Creative Commons

He had traveled the world and built up his name as a respected engineer, then settled into a pretty nice gig in Dublin as manager of a brewery.

But the thing Hugh Beaver became best known for wasn't engineering or beer; it was his book.

The idea for it first came to him while he went on a hunting trip and couldn't shoot a golden plover. His failure made him wonder whether golden plovers were extraordinarily fast.

Over the next few years, the idea of tallying the fastest, the best, the first, and the richest kept turning around Beaver's head.

In 1954, he invited journalists to help him figure out some of those superlatives. And he decided to name this book of records after the beer his brewery made.

And on August 27th, 1955The Guinness Book of Records was born.

That makes the book old, but not nearly as old as the Arctica islandica, which at over 400, holds the record for longest-living non-colonial animal. The Arctica islandica is a clam, by the way.

So, make a note of it – you never know when it might come in handy.

higher ed, historical innovation, innovation hub, Culture, Kara Miller, ihub, Hugh Beaver, Guinness Book of World Records

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