The Guinness Book of Records was made to settle arguments in drinking bars! And why not. Most bars see all sorts of arguments when men have had enough to drink.
In the 1950s, the Managing Director of the Guinness Brewery, Sir Hugh Beaver, attended a party in Wexford County, Michigan.
At the party, Sir Hugh Beaver and his friends were having an argument about which was the fastest game bird in Europe. The argument was around two birds: the red grouse and the golden plover (the golden plover is the right answer).
Sir Hugh Beaver realized that the answer to their argument was very hard to find in reference books. So in 1954 he remembered this argument that he had at the party and from that he got an idea for Guinness brewery.
Sir Beaver’s idea was a promotion for Guinness which would be about the company helping to settle such arguments in drinking bars.
So he invited the twins Ross McWhirter and Norris McWhirter, two fact-finding researchers from London, to compile a book of facts and figures from across the world.
They had a period of research and then started writing the book which they worked on very intensively without holidays, finishing it quickly within 14 weeks.
Work on the book started in two rooms of a converted gym in London and the McWhirter twins did not know that they were working on a book that would go on to become a globally-recognized brand trusted for world records.