Speedo

The Speedo boomerang logo

Speedo is a swimsuit manufacturer that began on Bondi Beach near Sydney Australia. Speedo is currently the world's largest selling swimwear brand and manufactures products for both recreational and competitive swimming. Its trademark is a red boomerang-shaped logo.

History

The company was founded in 1914 by hosiery manufacturer Alexander MacRae as MacRae Knitting Mills in an effort to expand his company into swimwear. In 1928 the name Speedo was first adopted after the firm developed its racerback design of swimwear making it one of the first manufacturers to specifically produce athletic designs. The name was made up by a Captain Jim Parsons who won a company competition with the slogan "Speed on in your Speedos."

During World War II the manufacturer shifted nearly all of its production to war materials such as mosquito nets. Speedo resumed production after the war and became a publicly traded corporation in 1951. In 1955 Speedo introduced nylon into its fabric for competitive swimwear. The 1956 Olympics in Melbourne saw the widespread debut of the new fabric and the introduction of the style of men's briefs that has become associated with the brand. The company quickly expanded into the international arena from there until the present, boasting that 70 percent of swimming medals were won by athletes wearing its products in the Olympic Games of 1968, 1972, and 1976.

During the 1970's and 80's new fabrics such as lycra were incorporated into the company's swimwear design. During the late 1990's the company turned its attention to its aquablade and fastskin product lines of competitive swimwear. The designs employ new fabrics that the company claims will reduce resistance in the water by replicating biological skin characteristics of various marine animals such as sharks.

Male competitive swimsuit.

Though it still manufactures the traditional briefs and racerback designs that made the company famous, Speedo's latest competitive swimwear designs incorporate suits that provide greater coverage to the arms, legs, and even full body for their top end lineup. Their high-end suits often sell for in excess of $300 American for the Fastskin 2 series. The company also continues to manufacture recreational swimwear, goggles, earplugs, swim caps, towels, robes, sportswear and other logo clothing, watches, sandals, beach volleyball and triathlon products, lifeguard gear, and training supplies for competitive and recreational swimmers.

Popularity

Due to its apparent utilitarian value for both swimming and sunbathing, the bikini-type competitive swimsuits colloquially known as 'budgie smugglers' became popular among non-professional swimmers and beach-goers in many parts of the world. Men of all ages wear speedos at beaches and pools in Europe, Asia, and South America.

In the United States of America, however, the opposite trend has developed since the 1980s. While women's swimwear remains scanty, men's swimwear has evolved into boardshorts that are baggy and long enough to reach the knees, or below.

Analysts attribute this phenomenon to the unique and intriguing interplay of religion, conservatism and human sexuality in the US, as in an essayby Kevin Esser.

Athletes

Some athletes who have been sponsored by the Speedo brand include Greg Louganis, Janet Evans, Michael Phelps, Amanda Beard, Dawn Fraser, and Kosuke Kitajima.


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Some athletes who have been sponsored by the Speedo brand include Greg Louganis, Janet Evans, Michael Phelps, Amanda Beard, Dawn Fraser, and Kosuke Kitajima. Ranking members of the Catholic Church traditionally wear rings set with a large amethyst as part of their office. Analysts attribute this phenomenon to the unique and intriguing interplay of religion, conservatism and human sexuality in the US, as in an essayby Kevin Esser. It is a symbol of heavenly understanding, and of the pioneer in thought and action on the philosophical, religious, spiritual and material planes. While women's swimwear remains scanty, men's swimwear has evolved into boardshorts that are baggy and long enough to reach the knees, or below. It is also associated with the constellations of Pisces, Aries (especially the violet and purple variety), Aquarius, and Sagittarius. In the United States of America, however, the opposite trend has developed since the 1980s. Amethyst is the birthstone associated with February.

Men of all ages wear speedos at beaches and pools in Europe, Asia, and South America. Even high-quality examples are often sold in large unfinished slabs, or as geodes, in everyday locations. Due to its apparent utilitarian value for both swimming and sunbathing, the bikini-type competitive swimsuits colloquially known as 'budgie smugglers' became popular among non-professional swimmers and beach-goers in many parts of the world. Traditionally included in the cardinal, or most valuable, gemstones (along with diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald), amethyst has lost much of its substantial value due to the discovery of extensive deposits in locations such as Brazil. The company also continues to manufacture recreational swimwear, goggles, earplugs, swim caps, towels, robes, sportswear and other logo clothing, watches, sandals, beach volleyball and triathlon products, lifeguard gear, and training supplies for competitive and recreational swimmers. Amethyst is relatively common in northwestern Ontario, but uncommon elsewhere in Canada; it was selected as the provincial mineral of Ontario in 1975. Their high-end suits often sell for in excess of $300 American for the Fastskin 2 series. It is found also in the Lake Superior district.

Though it still manufactures the traditional briefs and racerback designs that made the company famous, Speedo's latest competitive swimwear designs incorporate suits that provide greater coverage to the arms, legs, and even full body for their top end lineup. Among these may be mentioned Amethyst Mountain, Texas; Yellowstone National Park; Delaware County, Pennsylvania; Haywood County, North Carolina; and Deer Hill, and Stow, Maine. The designs employ new fabrics that the company claims will reduce resistance in the water by replicating biological skin characteristics of various marine animals such as sharks. Amethyst occurs at many localities in the United States, but these specimens are rarely fine enough for use in jewelry. During the late 1990's the company turned its attention to its aquablade and fastskin product lines of competitive swimwear. It should be noted that most professional gemological associations such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gemological Society (AGS) discourage the use of the term "Oriental amethyst" to describe any gem as it may be misleading. During the 1970's and 80's new fabrics such as lycra were incorporated into the company's swimwear design. Purple corundum, or sapphire of amethystine tint, is called Oriental amethyst, but this expression is often applied by jewellers to fine examples of the ordinary amethystine quartz, even when not derived from eastern sources.

The company quickly expanded into the international arena from there until the present, boasting that 70 percent of swimming medals were won by athletes wearing its products in the Olympic Games of 1968, 1972, and 1976. In more recent times, certain gems (usually of Bolivian origin) that have shown alternate bands of amethyst purple with citrine orange have been given the name ametrine. The 1956 Olympics in Melbourne saw the widespread debut of the new fabric and the introduction of the style of men's briefs that has become associated with the brand. The most prized color is an intense violet with red flashes and is called "Siberian", although gems of this color may occur from several locations other than Siberia, notably Uruguay and Zambia. In 1955 Speedo introduced nylon into its fabric for competitive swimwear. "Rose de France" is usually a pale pinkish lavender or lilac shade (usually the least sought color). Speedo resumed production after the war and became a publicly traded corporation in 1951. Due to its popularity as a gemstone, several descriptive terms have been coined in the gem trade to describe the varying colors of amethyst.

During World War II the manufacturer shifted nearly all of its production to war materials such as mosquito nets. Many localities in India yield amethyst; and it is found also in Sri Lanka, chiefly as pebbles. The name was made up by a Captain Jim Parsons who won a company competition with the slogan "Speed on in your Speedos.". Much fine amethyst comes from Russia, especially from near Mursinka in the Ekaterinburg district, where it occurs in drusy cavities in granitic rocks. In 1928 the name Speedo was first adopted after the firm developed its racerback design of swimwear making it one of the first manufacturers to specifically produce athletic designs. Many of the hollow agates of Brazil and Uruguay contain a crop of amethyst crystals in the interior. The company was founded in 1914 by hosiery manufacturer Alexander MacRae as MacRae Knitting Mills in an effort to expand his company into swimwear. A huge geode, or "amethyst-grotto", from near Santa Cruz in southern Brazil was exhibited at the Düsseldorf Exhibition of 1902.

. Such crystals occur either in the cavities of mineral-veins and in granitic rocks, or as a lining in agate geodes. Its trademark is a red boomerang-shaped logo. It is a widely distributed mineral, but fine, clear specimens that are suitable for cutting as ornamental stones are confined to comparatively few localities. Speedo is currently the world's largest selling swimwear brand and manufactures products for both recreational and competitive swimming. Beads of amethyst are found in Anglo-Saxon graves in England. Speedo is a swimsuit manufacturer that began on Bondi Beach near Sydney Australia. Amethyst was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians and was largely employed in antiquity for intaglios.

Some mineralogists, following Sir David Brewster, apply the name of amethyst to all quartz which exhibits this structure, regardless of color. As a consequence of this composite formation, amethyst is apt to break with a rippled fracture, or to show "thumb markings", and the intersection of two sets of curved ripples may produce on the fractured surface a pattern something like that of "engine turning". It has been shown that this structure may be due to mechanical stresses. Amethyst is composed of an irregular superposition of alternate lamellae of right-handed and left-handed quartz.

Veins of amethystine quartz are apt to lose their color on the exposed outcrop. On exposure to heat, amethyst generally becomes yellow, and much of the citrine, cairngorm, or yellow quartz of jewelry is said to be merely "burnt amethyst". As of 2005, impurity atoms are known to be responsible of the colour of the amethyst. Ferric thiocyanate was suggested, and sulfur was said to have been detected in the mineral.

However, since it is capable of being greatly altered and even discharged by heat, the color was believed by some authorities to be from an organic source. In the 20th century, the color of amethyst was attributed to the presence of manganese. However, the word may probably be a corruption of an Oriental name for the stone. It was held that wine drunk out of a cup of amethyst would not intoxicate.

The name is generally said to be derived from the Greek a, "not," and methuskein, "to intoxicate," expressing the old belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. Amethyst (SiO2) is a violet or purple variety of quartz often used as an ornament.

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