Zombie Corporate names

That’s hilarious. “To hell with sounding like we seem relevant to the times, we gotta distance ourselves from Fox News!”

I don’t know if their still in business, but I was surprised to come across the Baltimore and Annapolis Railway bus company back in the 80’s.

All the physical Tower Records stores closed over a decade ago, but the name lives on as an online music store, under new ownership I believe.

I Think RCA (the music label) is a Sony Music property now.

RCA went out of business in 1986 and was purchased by GE. Given GE’s proclivity for spinning off trademarks, I’m sure the trademark is just licensed.

Casio is still very much around. I have two of their products in my household, both purchased not so long ago: A watch (from their robust “G-Shock” line), and a scientific pocket calculator. Surely you could replace either with a smartphone, but I like to have these things as a separate item.

Studebaker, a darn fine name.

The Borden brand is still being used to some extent but th company is long gone and its properties have been split up.

No one’s mentioned Polaroid yet?

Polaroid was for a long time a huge player in the home photography market, competing with Kodak. The two went head-to-head with each other when the Kodak “Crank” camera seemed to be infringing on Polaroid’s instant-photo market.

Neither company responded properly or in time to avoid the massive change-over to digital photography. They both had efforts in digital photography, but they didn’t take it seriously, and didn’t think anyone else would, and got buried when that came along and virtually destroyed chemical photography. Kodak, as pointed out above, has barely kept alive (there are still some people using photographic chemicals, and Kodak is one of the few suppliers. I was surprised that people thought it was inappropriate for Kodak to be getting a contract for making chemicals – what else are they doing today?)

Polaroid tried to stay alive for a time with various dodges, but it had too many obligations to previous employees and paid out ridiculous amounts of money to managers to try and stay afloat. To get out of their financial difficulties, the Polaroid company essentially went bankrupt, and brand new company named Polaroid was set up that , it was explicitly stated, had no financial connection to the previous company of that name. So there is now a company named Polaroid BV making instant film and a Polaroid Eyewear making glasses with polarized lenses. The name’s still around, but they ain’t the same company.

The New England Confectionary Company is gone, but several of their products are back, with the same logos, but from different manufacturers. So you can buy Necco wafers (whose name comes from New England Confectionary CO.) even though NECCO itself is dead. ( https://www.spanglercandy.com/our-brands/necco-wafers ) And Sky Bars (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky_Bar ) And Conversation Hearts (now called Sweethearts) ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweethearts_(candy) )

Zenith is another defunct TV and electronics manufacturer. The company was bought by LG and they now own the brand name.

Todd-AO was originally the widescreen process pushed by producer/director Mike Todd and developed at American Optical in Southbridge, Massachusetts (hence the “AO” part). Mike Todd died in a plane crash in 1958, and that was pretty much the end of the widescreen films (a handful were made, but they required a special projector and theater, much like OmniMax films today, so other widescreen methods – Panavision and single-camera Cinerama – had the advantage). But the associated sound company, Todd-AO Sound, kept on going for years. I used to see the name in the end credits for movies for along time (I worked for a few years in one of the remaining shards of American Optical, so I thought this was pretty neat). It was owned by Todd Soundelux, which went bankrupt in 2014. A company called Sounddogs then acquired the Todd-AO name, but I haven’t seen it used anywhere recently.
Nevertheless, they’ve still got a website – https://toddao.com/
Also a LinkedIn site – https://www.linkedin.com/company/todd-ao

Woolworths still exists in Australia, but it’s gone pretty much everywhere else.

Webley and BSA brands still get plastered on airguns, but they are made in Turkey (I think) and the tenth-hand name is all that’s left of them.

The history of the Indian Motorcycle name is long and tragic. Changed hands more than a single at a strip club.

Hostess Brands (maker of Twinkies, Ho-Ho’s, etc,) went out of business in 2012. A year later, some investors bought the name and started producing their signature snack cakes again. They definitely ain’t the same.

Thanks for reminding me of that. I very occasionally get a Twinkie, thinking how long it’s been & how yummy they are, and have lately been inevitably disappointed.

I forgot they’re not being made by the same people anymore, and therefore, need simply to cease to exist. If there was a visual version of putting someone on “ignore” and just not seeing the object, I would do that to Hostess products.

Yeah they’re terrible. I have discovered that Tastykake is a more than acceptable substitute.

Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy was a fond memory of my youth. It was eventually purchased by the Tootsie Roll people and discontinued in 1989. Then in 2003 a new company acquired the name and recipe and started making it. I can now get it in some specialty shops.

Technically, it’s not a proper “taffy”, but a “short nougat”. I don’t care – I still like it. One thing I don’t miss from the old days is the original foil wrapper, which tended to stick to the candy. Every now and then you’d bite down on some foil and get a little shock. Now it’s wrapped in plastic.

It may not be a real taffy, but it still has the same stickiness and cohesiveness. Nowadays I can’t chew it – it has the power to pull out fillings. But I can still smack it onto a hard surface (while still wrapped) to break it into pieces, which I can let dissolve in my mouth.