Whatever happened to these Fortune 500 companies?

Here are seven companies from the first Fortune 500 that have since been merged, split up, or put out to pasture.

armour beef extract ad

Though Henry Ford was attributed with the invention of the assembly line, Philip Danforth Armour employed a Model-T-like efficiency to the butchering of animals in his meatpacking enterprise. It was companies like Armour, in fact, that inspired Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Every part of the animals was sold, either as meat, glue, fertilizer, or, later, soap.

Armour & Company had been making soap for years when, in the 1940s, it added a germicidal agent to its product, creating "Dial" -- the first deodorant. Dial sold so well that the company changed its name to Armour-Dial and expanded its offerings on the soap side. By the mid 1980s, the company had sold off its meatpacking operations, but kept its canned meat products. By 1991, it had changed its name to the Dial Corporation.

The canned meat side of the company lives on. Pinnacle Foods now owns Armour, which makes stews and soups, potted meat, hash and Vienna sausage.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated May 10 2013 03:04 PM ET
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Fortune 500

Wal-Mart retook the top spot, Berkshire Hathaway made the top five, and Apple grew enormously.

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