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HomeFinanceVitality and manufacturing dominated the Fortune 500’s first high 50 corporations in...

Vitality and manufacturing dominated the Fortune 500’s first high 50 corporations in 1955

Nevertheless, the information that the Fortune employees was compiling was primarily for inner use. It wasn’t till 1955, when then-assistant managing editor of the journal, Edgar P. Smith, argued that readers would have an interest within the info, and he turned out to have made the proper wager. 

“In its entirety, the five hundred has been a large window on the U.S. economic system and a reference level for all. It has been cited by Presidents and Congressmen, dissected by economists, and considered by enterprise leaders,” former Fortune editor-at-large Carol Loomis wrote for the fortieth anniversary of the listing. 

In 1955, Fortune journal revealed the primary listing of the five hundred largest corporations within the U.S. by income, albeit with the much less catchy title of “Annual Listing of the five hundred Largest Companies.”

On the high of the listing, with $9.8 billion in income, was Normal Motors, adopted by Normal Oil of New Jersey, which was later renamed as Exxon. Rounding up the highest 5 have been U.S. Metal, Normal Electrical, and the meat packing firm Swift, which ultimately merged with JBS USA. 

These first high 50 corporations, which had a mixed income of $69.4 billion, have been within the manufacturing, protection, power, and different comparable sectors, as a result of the unique Fortune 500 was not an entire snapshot of the biggest gamers of the U.S. economic system. As an alternative, the unique listing centered on these extra tangible industries, and it wasn’t till 1994 that the methodology opened to incorporate all corporations that file their monetary info with a authorities company.

That doesn’t imply the journal didn’t take a look at the opposite sectors within the economic system. For instance, the banks had their very own Fortune 50 listing. 

Out of the primary batch of high 50 Fortune corporations, 14 are nonetheless on the listing, together with GM, Goodyear, Lockheed Martin— then Lockheed Plane— and Boeing, which has lately been stricken by quality-control controversies. The businesses that have been on the high of the listing in 1955 and have proven their endurance signify 28.5% of the overall of 49 corporations which have appeared within the listing for all its 70 publications. Whereas this quantity has held regular since 2022, there have been 60 corporations in 2016 that had managed to safe a spot on the listing throughout all of the years in publication. 

Right here’s the listing of unique Prime 50 corporations from 1955:

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