Our Story

How did Guinness World Records begin? How long have we been around? How many adjudicators are there? Here you can find out all about our origins and what the brand does today.

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Origins Story

Guinness World Records - originally the Guinness Book of Records - the ultimate authority on record-breaking achievements, started out as an idea for a book of facts to solve arguments in pubs.

The idea came about in the early 1950’s when Sir Hugh Beaver (1890—1967), Managing Director of the Guinness Brewery, attended a shooting party in County Wexford. There, he and his hosts argued about the fastest game bird in Europe and failed to find an answer in any reference book.*

In 1954, recalling his shooting party argument, Sir Hugh had the idea for a Guinness promotion based on the idea of settling pub arguments and invited the twins Norris (1925—2004) and Ross McWhirter (1925—75) who were fact-finding researchers from Fleet Street to compile a book of facts and figures.

Guinness Superlatives was incorporated on 30 November and the office opened in two rooms in a converted gymnasium on the top floor of Ludgate House, 107 Fleet Street.

After an initial research phase, work began on writing the book, which took 13 and a half 90-hour weeks, including weekends and bank holidays. Little did the McWhirters know that taking shape was a book that would go on to become an all-time best seller and one of the most recognized and trusted brands in the world… 

Timeline

The power of record-breaking

Today, Guinness World Records is a global brand, with offices in London, New York, Beijing, Tokyo and Dubai, with brand ambassadors and adjudicators on the ground around the world. 

Our mission to document the incredible can still be found each year on the pages of our book, but also through TV Shows, social media and live events.

Whether in the form of a personal life-long dream, or a team attempt within a company of 5000, the power of record-breaking is easy to see, and continues to inspire amazing feats and achievements every day, across the globe. 

Could you become Officially Amazing?

Records

Over 66 years of record-breaking authority

58,000 + current records on database

57,000 record enquiries from 186 countries in 2020

6,000 records approved in 2020

600+ brand activations in 57 countries in 2020

records

Publishing

147M + books sold to date globally

1.8M + books sold in 2020

100 + countries

40 + languages

Each annual title contains thousands of records, with 80% new and updated every year

publishing

TV & VIDEO

1,200+ hours of owned footage

Programming sold to 150+ territories

Original branded productions in 19 territories

336M + YouTube views in the last year

592M + minutes viewed on YouTube in the last year


tv

WEB & SOCIAL

21M + Facebook followers

3.6M + Instagram followers

5.2M + subscribers on Snapchat Discover

11.2M + followers on TikTok

300,000 + followers on Twitter

digital