6 companies born during downturns

Think a recession is a bad time to start a company? Imagine if the founders of these major corporations had thought the same...

1 of 6
BACKNEXT
Rising above inflation
Rising above inflation
A P&G distributor makes his rounds in the 1870s.
Company: Procter & Gamble
Ticker: PG
Industry: Household products
Founded during: The Panic of 1837

Candle maker William Procter and soap maker James Gamble joined forces to start a small household-goods business in Cincinnati. It was a risky move for the brothers-in-law: The shaky economy had a full six years of financial crisis ahead. Massive migration to the West caused land prices to rise, and inflation soon followed. Under President Martin Van Buren, bank failures and concerns about the paper economy spurred the greatest economic decline since the birth of the country. But P&G survived and went on to score lucrative contracts to supply necessities to the Union Army during the Civil War.

Status today: With $83.5 billion in revenue in 2008, Procter & Gamble has built a portfolio of some of the most recognizable brands in the U.S., including Tide, Pampers, Oral-B, Iams, Pantene, Duracell and Pringles. The company's shares took a hit this past year, but it has held steady against smaller competitors such as Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive, and its earnings remain strong: P&G had net earnings last year of $12.1 billion. Because consumers rely on P&G products in good times and bad, it is considered a titan even in a rough economy.

By Emily Maltby, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEXT: Outliving a long depression
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: Jun 01 2009 | 12:07 PM ET
Sponsored by
More Galleries
Rebirth of America's dead factories Defunct factories around the country are in high demand as U.S. production once again revs up. More
7 hot businesses to start now It's hard to predict what businesses will take off, but these startup ideas have been drawing tons of interest from entrepreneurs and their customers on Thumbtack.com. More
How will a minimum wage hike hit businesses? Thirteen states increased the minimum wage on Jan. 1, and President Obama supports raising the federal rate to $10.10. 4 small business owners weigh in on how an increase would affect them. More
Sponsors

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.