Guinness Book of World Records is a name which is recognized worldwide. The idea was the brainchild of Sir Hugh Beaver, Managing Director of the Guinness Brewery, which hit him when he attended a shooting party in County Wexford during the 1950s.
There, he and his hosts argued about the fastest game bird in Europe. They were unable to find the answer in any reference books.
In 1954, recalling his shooting party argument, Sir Hugh had the idea for a Guinness promotion. It was based on the idea of settling pub arguments. He invited the twins Norris and Ross McWhirter, who were fact-finding researchers from Fleet Street to compile a book of facts and figures.
Guinness Superlatives was incorporated on 30 November and the office opened in two rooms in a converted gymnasium on the top floor of Ludgate House, 107 Fleet Street. After an initial research phase, work began on writing the book, which took an astonishing 13 and a half 90-hour weeks, including weekends and bank holidays!
As Guinness celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015, we can still find it to be a bestseller, enjoyed throughout generations.
In today’s world, Guinness is a platform where you can showcase any type of bizarre talent and get glory. Generations young and old, covet for their name to be in the book. Even though most records seem pointless, they are the fruit of the passion and practice of some person who worked hard to achieve that.
In the age of social media, it is all about fame and recognition. It doesn’t matter if you get that fame as the world’s fastest kiwi peeler (multiple-record holder Alastair Galpin set that mark, stripping and eating the fruit in about 16 seconds), the person with the longest nails (Lee Redmond holds the record for the longest fingernails ever. They grew to an amazing 28ft and 4.5 inches over 29 years before she lost them in a car accident.) or as a human beehive (Ruan Liangming, covered himself in 637,000 bees. That’s about 63.7kg, which broke the record for “Heaviest Bee Mantle.”)
I still remember that during my junior years in school, the school librarian would give the class three copies of Guinness Book of World Records every week to read. We all had a great time pouring over it, laughing at the absurd ones and marvelling the amazing ones. Sometimes it is alright to go extremely crazy, because it’s worth it.
-Tanvi Jain, DPS Noida1 Like