“Guinness in producing this book hopes that 

it may assist in resolving many disputes, and may, we hope, turn heat into light.”

–Rt. Hon. the Earl of Iveagh (Chairman at the time of the Guinness Park Royal Brewery in London)

Image: HuffPost

The first edition of the Guinness Book of Records was published on the 27th of August, 1955. The 198-page book was the first of its kind to ever be printed. No one at that time realized what sort of global phenomenon had actually been created.

Ross and Norris McWhirter, twin brothers, compiled the book, taking sixteen weeks, and at the cost of $35,000. The book contains the records of John. R. Cobb, holder of the land speed world record Manningford Faith Jan Graceful, a British Friesian cow responsible for the highest life-time milk yield, and The Smith’s Arms, the smallest pub in the world measuring ten feet wide and four feet high at the eaves.

The aim of the book was to educate readers about the wonders that existed in the world and simulate discussion. Since then more than 143 million copies have been sold in over 100 countries. The Guinness World Records remain a worldwide phenomenon even today, with the latest 2020 version published in September 2019.