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60. The Levi’s That Came in from the Cold

At the start of the Cold War, Levi’s jeans represented everything communist governments were trying to stamp out. But Levi’s kept finding their way behind the Iron Curtain, especially into East Germany. There, people could see what they were missing just over the wall that separated them from the West. […]
60. The Levi’s That Came in from the Cold
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58. The House That Sears Built

A few months ago, a listener in our Facebook group suggested we look into Sears mail-order homes for a potential episode. We loved the idea, and it turns out there’s already a fantastic story about these houses from the podcast 99% Invisible. Today, we’re sharing that episode with you. 99% […]
58. The House That Sears Built
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54. Will The Real Mr. Oreo Please Stand Up?

This week, we’re teaming up with the podcast Proof from America’s Test Kitchen to bring you an Oreo story with three delicious parts. First, the longstanding rivalry between two biscuit makers that gave birth to the world’s favourite cookie. Then, one little girl’s brave choice (risking divine punishment!) to taste […]
54. Will The Real Mr. Oreo Please Stand Up?
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53. An Essential Oils Investigation

Young Living was one of the first major essential oils companies on the market, helping to launch an industry that is worth billions of dollars today. The company is built on the myth of its founder, whose miraculous medical recovery inspired him to devote his life to alternative medicine. But […]
53. An Essential Oils Investigation
News

52. The Republic of Samsung

Samsung’s founder, his son, and his grandson turned a vegetable and dried fish shop into a global superpower and a symbol of South Korean success. But their fight to keep the company in the family has also landed it at the centre of some of South Korea’s biggest corruption investigations. […]
52. The Republic of Samsung
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51. Not All Fun and Board Games

The original Game of Life was about reaching happy old age, not “Millionaire Acres.” And Monopoly was invented by an anti-capitalist who wanted to make a point about landowning and economic inequality. How did these games become the versions we play today? This is the story of how two iconic […]
51. Not All Fun and Board Games
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50. Let’s Talk About Tampax

How do you advertise a product that’s taboo? When Tampax became the first commercially-produced tampon in 1933, no one wanted to talk about menstruation. So the company embraced education as advertising. It’s a strategy that grew from door-to-door sales campaigns to middle school sex ed classes across the country today. […]
50. Let’s Talk About Tampax
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49. Making Nathan’s Famous

Nathan’s Famous turned the hot dog into a symbol of July 4th. But the story of how that happened says a lot more about America than just its love of a good BBQ. It’s immigrants striving for the American dream, hucksters spinning tall tales, underdogs fighting against the odds. The […]
49. Making Nathan’s Famous
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48. The Fight for the McDonald’s Franchise

In 1969, Cleveland’s Black residents boycotted McDonald’s. For weeks, the company’s leadership had been locked in a stalemate with Black activists over who should own and operate the local franchises. It was all part of a bigger movement, whose goal was to build economic power in Black communities through Black-owned […]
48. The Fight for the McDonald’s Franchise
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47. Drinking Buddies: Jack Daniel and Nearest Green

Jack Daniel’s is the top-selling whiskey in the world. For more than 150 years, it’s been made using time-honoured methods that go back to when Jack Daniel made the whiskey himself. (Yes, he was a real person.) But who taught “Mr. Jack” how to make that whiskey? Nearest Green, a […]
47. Drinking Buddies: Jack Daniel and Nearest Green
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46. Makin’ Whoopee Cushion

April Fools’ pranks come and go, but one joke item that’s stood the test of time is the whoopee cushion. Today, we trace its history from ancient Rome to now. Where did it come from? Why is it funny? Will it stay popular? And if everyone knows its name, why […]
46. Makin’ Whoopee Cushion
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45. Heard It Through the Grapevine

The 1980’s TV commercials for California raisins have been called some of the best ads ever made. The claymation raisins singing and dancing to Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” became a kids TV show, recorded an album that went platinum, launched a range of toys and costumes, […]
45. Heard It Through the Grapevine
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44. All That Jazzercise

Since Jazzercise started over 50 years ago, hundreds of thousands of (mostly) women have come together to exercise and get fit. But if you think Jazzercise is just jazz hands and shoulder rolls, you’re missing out on the bigger story, one about women becoming entrepreneurs and running their own businesses. […]
44. All That Jazzercise
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43. A Tale of Two Spams

In Hawaii, Spam is served at grandma’s house and in high-end restaurants. It’s beloved. But in the continental U.S., the canned pork product is often the punchline of jokes. Why does Spam have such different meanings in different places? The answer involves World War II, Monty Python, and a troupe […]
43. A Tale of Two Spams
News

42. The Widow Clicquot

More than two hundred years ago in Napoleonic France, the business world was walled off to women, and champagne was a luxury reserved for the ruling class. So then how did a young widow take over her husband’s struggling wine business and turn champagne into an international phenomenon? And how […]
42. The Widow Clicquot
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41. The Red (M&M) Scare

From the mid 1970s to the mid ’80s, red M&M’s disappeared. American consumers had become worried about the safety of red food colouring after some questionable Russian studies prompted the FDA to look into whether one particular dye might be causing cancer in rats. But years later, the red M&M […]
41. The Red (M&M) Scare
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