business began in 1940, with a restaurant opened by brothers Richard
and Maurice McDonald at 1398 North E Street at West 14th Street in San
Bernardino, California. Their introduction of the "Speedee Service
System" in 1948 furthered the principles of the modern fast-food
restaurant that the White Castle hamburger chain had already put into
practice more than two decades earlier. The original mascot of
McDonald's was a man with a chef's hat on top of a hamburger shaped head
whose name was "Speedee". Speedee was eventually replaced with Ronald
McDonald by 1967 when the company first filed a U.S. trademark on a
clown shaped man having puffed out costume legs. 13 more images after the break...
McDonald's first filed for a U.S.
trademark on the name "McDonald's" on May 4, 1961, with the description
"Drive-In Restaurant Services", which continues to be renewed through
the end of December 2009. In the same year, on September 13, 1961, the
company filed a logo trademark on an overlapping, double arched "M"
symbol. The overlapping double arched "M" symbol logo was temporarily
disfavored by September 6, 1962, when a trademark was filed for a single
arch, shaped over many of the early McDonald's restaurants in the early
years. Although the "Golden Arches" appeared in various forms, the
present form as a letter "M" did not appear until November 18, 1968,
when the company applied for a U.S. trademark.
The present corporation dates its
founding to the opening of a franchised restaurant by Ray Kroc, in Des
Plaines, Illinois, on April 15, 1955, the ninth McDonald's restaurant
overall. Kroc later purchased the McDonald brothers' equity in the
company and led its worldwide expansion, and the company became listed
on the public stock markets in 1965. Kroc was also noted for aggressive
business practices, compelling the McDonald brothers to leave the fast
McDonald brothers and Kroc feuded over control of the business, as
documented in both Kroc's autobiography and in the McDonald brothers'
autobiography. The San Bernardino store was demolished in 1976 (or 1971,
according to Juan Pollo) and the site was sold to the Juan Pollo
restaurant chain. It now serves as headquarters for the Juan Pollo
chain, as well as a McDonald's and Route 66 museum. With the expansion
of McDonald's into many international markets, the company has become a
symbol of globalization and the spread of the American way of life. Its
prominence has also made it a frequent topic of public debates about
obesity, corporate ethics and consumer responsibility. Wiki