Guinness World Records – Wikipedia

History and Evolution of Guinness World Records
– Norris McWhirter co-founded the book with his twin brother Ross in August 1955.
– Sir Hugh Beaver, managing director of the Guinness Breweries, sparked the idea for the book during a shooting party in 1951.
– Christopher Chataway recommended the McWhirter twins to compile the book.
– The first edition was bound in August 1955 and became a bestseller in the UK.
– Recent editions focus on record feats by individuals.
– Competitions range from Olympic weightlifting to egg tossing distances.
– The book includes records about unusual facts like the heaviest tumor and the most poisonous fungus.
– Youngest people achieving certain milestones are also featured.
– Each edition contains a selection of records from the database, with inclusion criteria changing yearly.

Ownership and Criticisms of Guinness World Records
– Guinness Superlatives, later Guinness World Records Limited, was formed in 1954 to publish the first book.
– The rights to the Guinness book in the US were owned by Sterling Publishing until repurchased by Guinness in 1989.
– The franchise has had multiple owners, including Gullane Entertainment and Apax Partners.
– Since 2008, Guinness World Records has been owned by the Jim Pattison Group.
– Guinness World Records has been criticized for inventing new records as publicity stunts.
– The franchise has faced accusations of creating records for companies and individuals.
– Critics argue that the authenticity of records is compromised.
– The retirement of Norris McWhirter and the sale of the brand shifted the focus of the books to illustrated reference.
– Existing Guinness World Records titles can be accessed online, and individuals can propose new record titles for a fee.

Impact of Guinness World Records
– The book has been published annually since 1955 and is now in its 67th year.
– It is published in 100 countries and 23 languages.
– Guinness World Records has sold over 100 million copies worldwide.
– The franchise has expanded to include television series and museums.
– Guinness World Records is considered the primary international source for cataloguing and verifying world records.

Ethical and Safety Issues in Guinness World Records
– Guinness World Records has discontinued records related to alcohol consumption.
– Records involving harm or killing of animals are not accepted by Guinness World Records.
– The listing of a serial killer as the most prolific was removed due to ethical concerns.
– Records that could lead to harm or unhealthy behavior, such as overfeeding fish, have been removed.
– Eating and drinking records that pose safety risks have been dropped from the book.
– Guinness World Records does not accept claims for beauty as it is not objectively measurable.
– Categories like the world’s fastest clapper have been included as they relate to measurable speed.
– The dreadlock category was discontinued as it was impossible to judge accurately.
– Certain categories, such as sword swallowing and rally driving, have been closed due to safety concerns.
– Guidelines now require fully edible food items for large food type records.

Other Media and Products related to Guinness World Records
– A Guinness Book of World Records museum opened in the Empire State Building in 1976.
– Speed shooter Bob Munden promoted the book with his record fast draws.
– Exhibits in the museum included life-size statues.
– Guinness Museum in Hollywood is another notable museum.
– The museums showcased various record-breaking achievements.
– There is a branch of Guinness World Records called Gamers Edition that keeps records for popular video game high scores, codes, and feats.
– The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles is a music reference book first published in 1977.
– Guinness World Records has also been featured in a board game, a video game, and there are plans for a live-action film version.Sources: