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Starbucks' history lesson
Starbucks' history lesson

In his 1997 autobiography Pour Your Heart Into It, founder Howard Schultz explained how he chose Starbucks Coffee's iconic mermaid logo: "[Co-founder Terry Heckler] pored over old marine books until he came up with a logo based on an old sixteenth-century Norse woodcut." The image "was supposed to be as seductive as coffee itself."

Only one problem: The Norse people were long gone by the 16th century. According to the blog Got Medieval, Heckler likely lifted the image from a 15th-century German drawing of the serpent-fairy Melusine that he found in a book of old symbols published in ... 1971.

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LAST UPDATE: Mar 24 2011 | 9:51 AM ET
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