The Guinness Book of Records is the biggest-selling copyrighted book of all
time, according to Publisher, Young, with 92 million books sold since 1955. But
when it was first imagined, it wasn't even going to be for sale.
S i r H u c h B e a v e r
Guinness Toucan Poster
The book was the brainchild of Sir Hugh Beaver. The managing director of the
Guinness Brewery in Ireland. on November 10, 1951, he got into an argument while
hunting with friends out in southeastern Ireland over which was the fastest game
bird. Sir Hugh Beaver thought that hundreds of other such things were apparently
being discussed and a book of records could resolve these differences.
1 9 5 0' s
It was the '50s, a time when people were smitten with records -- the 4-minute
mile, jet speeds, car speeds -- and Sir Hugh Beaver decided to compile a book of
records and distribute them to pubs as conversation pieces while patrons enjoyed
a pint of Guinness.
M a r k e t G i v e w a y
"It was a marketing giveaway, it wasn't supposed to be a moneymaker."
Sir Hugh Beaver printed 1,000 of the first book and gave them away. The Guinness
Book of World Records publishing company eventually opened at 107 Fleet Street in
H a r d B a c k P u b l i s h e d
The first hard back copy of the 198-page book was bound on August 27th 1955.
One year after the series was originally launched in London, the first edition of
the Guinness Book of World Records came out in the United States. 70,000 of these
books were sold. The Guinness Book of Records English edition is now distributed
in 70 different countries with another 22 editions in foreign languages.
G u i n n e s s B o o k S u c c e s s
More than 65 million copies were sold world wide by 1990. Only 2000 of the
5000 records that come in each year are published. The other records are recorded
but cannot be published because of book size constraints. Guinness Book
Video Game High scores were published from [
1985] -  and then discontinued.
Hard Back American Edition Guinness Books
1956 1957 1958 1959 1960
1961 1962 1963
1991 1992 1993
1994 1995 1996 1997
2000 2001 2002
Guinness Contests and Video Game Magazine Articles
Original Graphic Content From Twin Galaxies - Walter Day (twingalaxies.com)
Posters can be purchased at the Twin Galaxies Web Site