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
8 must-have travel apps Whether you've got wanderlust or an airline grievance, here are some apps to pack onto your phone. More
Secrets to success from Smalltown USA Utah State professor Michael Glauser cycled 4,000 miles this summer, visiting 100 entrepreneurs across the country. Here's a snapshot of how they grew their businesses. More
Commuting is getting easier. Here's why The MobiPrize, conducted by SMART at the University of Michigan, recognizes innovation in global transportation. From microcars to auto rickshaws, these six startups are some of the standouts. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. 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.