I want examples of many different fictional companies and products from literature!
September 6, 2012 4:08 AM   Subscribe

I want examples of many different fictional companies and products from literature!

So you get T-shirts with designs for non-existent companies that feature in literature: Victory Gin from 1984. Enfield Tennis Academy from Infinite Jest etc etc

I want a huge list of companies that only exist within literary texts! Any company name that was invented by an author. Like 'Brown's Slaughterhouse' from The Jungle.

I realise this is a very broad category (loads of books have fake companies in them) but I really am after any examples anyone has.

Literature only, please, no movies or music! Preferably no sci-fi or fantasy please!
posted by Cantdosleepy to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Encyclopedia Galactica Publishing Company, from Asimov's Foundation

Megadodo Publications, from Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:15 AM on September 6, 2012

Wikipedia has a list of fictional companies.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 4:25 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

M&M Enterprises from Catch-22
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 4:36 AM on September 6, 2012

LeFever Parfumaire from Jitterbug Perfume
posted by Pwoink at 4:43 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wonka's Chocolate Factory.
posted by empatterson at 4:51 AM on September 6, 2012

Veridian Dynamics from Better Off Ted!
posted by third word on a random page at 4:53 AM on September 6, 2012

Franco-Midland Hardware Company, Ltd, the fictional fictional company in The Stockbroker's Clerk Sherlock Holmes story, if you want to be meta.
posted by Erasmouse at 4:55 AM on September 6, 2012

With some help from Wikipedia, I suggest you check out William Gibson's
- Ono-Sendai and Tessier-Ashpool in the Sprawl trilogy.
- Slitscan and Hardwood/Levine in the Bridge trilogy.
- Hubertus Bigend's Blue Ant cool-hunting/advertising company in his latest novels.
posted by kandinski at 5:17 AM on September 6, 2012

Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:27 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Taggart Transcontinental and Twentieth Century Motor Company from Atlas Shrugged
Kumfy Kabins motels from Lolita
posted by drlith at 5:41 AM on September 6, 2012

Soma from Brave New World

Scruples from Scruples (I don't think this counts as literature....)

Rossums Universal Robots, from RUR (A play)
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:48 AM on September 6, 2012

General Products (what a great name!) from Larry Niven's Known Space series.
posted by kandinski at 6:02 AM on September 6, 2012

"Do Us the Honor" Funeral home from The Twelve Chairs.
posted by effigy at 7:02 AM on September 6, 2012

My personal favorite is the Yoyodyne Corporation.
posted by deathpanels at 7:09 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Looks like PopCo didn't make the wikipedia list.
posted by BibiRose at 7:26 AM on September 6, 2012

PKD is pretty amazing at inventing fictional companies/products.

For example, the ultimate commodity: Ubik.

Rosen Industries creates "andys" (including the Nexus 6) but electric sheep are pretty great products, too. The Wyndham–Matson Corporation makes reproductions of pre-war Americana artifacts.
posted by luxperpetua at 8:28 AM on September 6, 2012

Denham's Dandy Dental Dentifrice from Fahrenheit 451. Sorry, sci-fi.
posted by CCCC at 8:30 AM on September 6, 2012

Slight variation : the '84 Ford Imperator glimpsed in A Scanner Darkly (1977).
posted by Iridic at 10:20 AM on September 6, 2012

Tono-Bungay, the wildly successful snake oil patent medicine from HG Wells' novel of the same name.
Tono-Bungay had some competitors in the scam supplement market, too: "Sorber's Food" and "Cracknell's Ferric Wine".

Like good capitalists everywhere, the Tono-Bungay people developed plenty of follow on product lines for various demographic segments -- Tono-Bungay Mouthwash, Tono-Bungay Chocolate, Tono-Bungay Hair Stimulant, Tono-Bungay: Thistle Brand (specifically blended with 11% pure alcohol, for the Scottish market).
posted by notyou at 10:21 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Glengarry Glen Ross - both the 1992 movie and the play it's based on.
posted by meronym at 11:32 AM on September 6, 2012

"Soma" is a drug, not a company.

Not sure if you want to include "Glengarry" and "Glen Ross" (two separate entities)--they are real estate developments (estates), not strictly companies. I don't believe the real estate office in which all the Glengarry Glen Ross characters work is ever named explicitly.

I always understood Pierce & Pierce, the Wall Street investment firm from both Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities and Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, to be fictitious. A web search just now, however, indicated that there actually IS an international financial group called Pierce & Pierce. I don't know if it was established after these books were written (early 90s for Psycho) or if Wolfe and Ellis actually meant that firm.

Miller Shanks is a fictitious British advertising agency in Matt Beaumont's novel e.
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:50 AM on September 6, 2012

Oh, fictional companies and products. Sorry about the soma.
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:52 AM on September 6, 2012

Douglas Coupland also has a couple fictitious companies: in Microserfs, the main characters leave Microsoft and form their own software company, Interiority. The characters in JPod work for Neotronic Arts, a video game company.

Allegra Goodman's The Cookbook Collector has multiple fictitious technology startups, primarily Veritech and ISIS.
posted by dlugoczaj at 1:08 PM on September 6, 2012

posted by booth at 1:28 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

From Cloud Atlas, there's Papa Song's Diner (a kind of fast food chain) from the segment / novella An Orison of Sonmi~451. As this part deals with a dystopian future run by 'the Corpocracy', I'm sure there are dozens of other fictional companies only I can't remember them offhand.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:40 PM on September 6, 2012

Not a company, but a product (actually, an entire industry): parablendeum, from Cheever's "Housebreaker of Shady Hill".
posted by tangerine at 7:06 PM on September 6, 2012

Burleigh & Stronginthearm Weapons Manufacturer

Grand Trunk Semaphore Company

Sonky Rubber Company--sonkies, the penny-a-packet preventatives

Thimble's Pipe and Tobacco Shop

Pointer & Pickles--Crystals, Minerals & Tumbling Supplies

Higgs & Meakins Fine Chocolatiers

Soon Shine Sun Shonky Shop--thrift store

Goatberger Publishers of Ankh-Morpork
Teemer and Spools Publishers

Not sure if you want the restaurants:

Gimlet's Hole Foods Delicatessen
"We use only the best free range rats!"
Famous for:
Dwarf Bread
Fried rat on a stick (best in the city)
Soya rat (vegetarian)
Pizza "Quatre rodenti" (with newts and chillis)
Pizza "Klatchian Hots" (with salami)

Yo Rat!

Harga's House Of Ribs

Three Jolly Luck Takeaway Fish Bar

These are all I can remember off the top of my head. I'm sure someone with a better memory could add more.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:17 PM on September 6, 2012

Grand Trunk Semaphore Company

Which reminds me: the Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company of North America, from Henry Miller's semi-autobiographical Tropic of Capricorn.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:36 PM on September 6, 2012

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