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. At least one version of corporate history claims that the twenty-year-old Irving Thalberg rose so quickly because he told subordinates that he alone spoke for Carl Laemmle in making production decisions, while the others were more concerned with battling among themselves. 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. For several years some of these junior partners carried considerable weight within Universal; inevitably factions and rivalries were the rule. 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. Among those early film-production studios (and their proprietors) were:. In the United States of America, however, the opposite trend has developed since the 1980s. In the early years of Universal, the company absorbed a number of small firms.

Men of all ages wear speedos at beaches and pools in Europe, Asia, and South America. Movie Not Listed. 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. For example, for Waterworld in 1995, the sea level on earth rises, covering the land as the Universal title moves into place. 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. There have been occasional modifications to the logo to match the picture. Their high-end suits often sell for in excess of $300 American for the Fastskin 2 series. Added to this was a dramatic, swelling theme by Jerry Goldsmith.

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. This was tweaked a bit in 1997 to add lights on earth and highlights on the rotating letter-wrap. 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. Using CGI, the new introduction simulates a satellite-eye view of earth; as the point-of-view pulls back, a classically-styled "UNIVERSAL" moves into place like a belt. During the late 1990's the company turned its attention to its aquablade and fastskin product lines of competitive swimwear. To celebrate the company's seventy-fifth anniversary, the logo got a digital makeover in 1990. During the 1970's and 80's new fabrics such as lycra were incorporated into the company's swimwear design. Added at the bottom of the screen was the sub-head, "AN MCA COMPANY." Earlier on this was used for widescreen where the logo is slower and UNIVERSAL blurs in then A & Pictures are sandwiched on it.

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. When the "International" portion of the name was dropped in 1963, the logo was updated to a more stylized revolving globe inside a whirling Van Allen Belt, with the name "UNIVERSAL" centered over it. 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. Following the 1946 merger with International Pictures, a new, more conventional logo was introduced, with a realistic representation of earth shown underneath the new name "Universal-International" in a dignified type font. In 1955 Speedo introduced nylon into its fabric for competitive swimwear. With new management in the mid-1930s came a completely new logo; introduced in 1937, a highly stylized glass globe, surrounded by twinkling stars, rotated to display the name "UNIVERSAL PICTURES." This logo quickly conveyed a message of "new management" while tapping into the modern movement in design. Speedo resumed production after the war and became a publicly traded corporation in 1951. At the end of the movie The End is on the globe then it read " It's A UNIVERSAL PICTURE".

During World War II the manufacturer shifted nearly all of its production to war materials such as mosquito nets. An updated logo was introduced in 1929, as a biplane circling the globe "wiped" into place the words "A UNIVERSAL PICTURE". The name was made up by a Captain Jim Parsons who won a company competition with the slogan "Speed on in your Speedos.". Universal has used an image of planet Earth as their logo since the early 1920s. 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. As presently structured, GE owns 80% of NBC Universal, with Vivendi holding the remaining 20%, with an option to sell its share in 2006. The company was founded in 1914 by hosiery manufacturer Alexander MacRae as MacRae Knitting Mills in an effort to expand his company into swimwear. The reorganized "Universal" film conglomerate has enjoyed several financially successful years.

. remained the name of the production subsidiary; and while some expressed doubts that regimented, profit-minded GE and high-living Hollywood could coexist, so far the mix seems to be working. Its trademark is a red boomerang-shaped logo. The resulting media super-conglomerate was re-named NBC Universal, while Universal Studios Inc. Speedo is currently the world's largest selling swimwear brand and manufactures products for both recreational and competitive swimming. Subsequently burdened with debt, Vivendi sold its majority share in Universal (including the studio and theme parks) to GE in 2004, parent of NBC. Speedo is a swimsuit manufacturer that began on Bondi Beach near Sydney Australia. (These same properties would be bought back later at greatly inflated prices.) Seeing a way out, in June 2000, Seagram sold itself to French water-utility and media company Vivendi and the media conglomerate became Vivendi/Universal, while the music-related subsidiaries of MCA were sold to Geffen Music, thus effectively ending the existence of MCA.

sold Universal's television holdings (including cable network USA) to Barry Diller. To raise money, Seagram head Edgar Bronfman, Jr. to enter the lucrative videotape sales industry; but the up-and-down profit in Hollywood was no substitute for a secure cash-cow like whiskey. Hoping to build a media empire around Universal, Seagram bought Polygram and other entertainment properties, and created MCA/Universal Home Video Inc.

This provided a cash infusion, but the clash of cultures was too great to overcome, and, in frustration, five years later Matsushita sold control MCA/Universal to the Canadian liquor-distributor Seagram. At this time, the production subsidiary was renamed Universal Studios Inc. Anxious to expand its broadcast and cable presence, in 1990 Lew Wasserman, now head of MCA, sought a rich partner, of MCA/Universal to Matsushita Electric, the Japanese electronics manufacturer. There would be other film hits like E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial, Back to the Future, and Jurassic Park, but overall the film business was still hit-and-miss.

Weekly series production was the workhorse of the company. Though Universal's film unit did produce occasional hits, among them Airport, The Sting, American Graffiti, and a blockbuster that restored the company's fortunes, Jaws, Universal in the 1970s was primarily a television studio. An innovation of which Universal was especially proud was the creation in this period of the ninety-minute, made-for-television movie. Television now carried the load, as Revue-MCA dominated the American networks, particularly NBC (which later merged with Universal to form NBC Universal-see below), where for several seasons it provided up to half of all prime time shows.

But it was too late, since the audience was no longer there, and by 1968, the film-production unit began to downsize. And so, with MCA in charge, for a few years in the 1960s Universal became what it had never been: a full-blown, first-class movie studio, with leading actors and directors under contract; offering slick, commercial films; and a studio tour subsidiary (launched in 1964). As a last gesture before getting out of the talent agency business, virtually every MCA client was signed to a Universal contract. remained a subsidiary only engaged in export/international release of Universal product.

Universal-International Pictures Inc. The actual, long-awaited takeover of Universal Pictures by MCA finally took place in mid-1962, and the production subsidiary reverted in name to Universal Pictures, while the parent company became MCA/Universal Pictures Inc. The studio lot was upgraded and modernized, while MCA clients like Doris Day, Lana Turner, and Cary Grant were signed to Universal Pictures contracts. Although MCA owned the studio lot, but not Universal Pictures, it was increasingly influential on Universal's product.

After a period of complete shutdown, a moribund Universal agreed to sell its (by now) 360-acre (1.5 km²) studio lot to MCA in 1958, for $11 million. Talent agent MCA had also become a powerful television producer, renting space at Republic Studios for its Revue Productions subsidiary. The combination of the studio/theater-chain break-up and the rise of television saw the mass audience drift away, probably forever. By the late 1950s, the motion picture business was in trouble.

This kind of arrangement would become the rule for many future productions at Universal, and eventually at other studios as well. When one of those films, Winchester '73 proved to be a hit, Stewart became a rich man. Wasserman's deal gave Stewart a share in the profits of three pictures in lieu of a large salary. Leading actors were increasingly free to work where and when they chose, and in 1950 MCA agent Lew Wasserman made a deal with Universal for his client James Stewart that would change the rules of the business.

case. Paramount Pictures, et al. vs. Though Decca would continue to keep picture-budgets lean, they were favored by changing circumstances in the film business, as other studios let their contract-actors go in the wake of the 1948 U.S.

At this point Rank lost interest and sold his shares to the investor Milton Rackmil, whose Decca Records would take full control of Universal in 1952. By the late 1940s, Goetz was out, and the studio reverted once more to the low-budget fare it knew best. While there were to be a few hits like The Egg & I, The Killers, and Naked City, the studio still struggled. William Goetz, a founder of International, was made head of production at the re-named (as Universal-International Pictures Inc.) production arm of the Universal Pictures complex (distribution and copyright control remained under the name of Universal Pictures Company Inc.; Universal-International Pictures additionally served Universal as an import-export subsidiary, and copyright holder for the production arm's films), and he set out an ambitious schedule.

While trying to improve the quality of the studio's output, he instigated a merger in 1946 with a struggling American independent production company, International Pictures. Arthur Rank bought a one-fourth interest in Universal in 1945. After the War, looking to expand his American presence, the British entrepreneur J. During the war years Universal did have a co-production arrangement with producer Walter Wanger and his partner, director Fritz Lang, but their pictures were a small bit of quality in a schedule dominated by the likes of Cobra Woman and Frontier Gal.

Fields, and Marlene Dietrich. Low and medium budget fare dominated through the years of World War II, when the studio's most popular stars were the many cast-off Paramount players like Mae West, W.C. Only the films of young singer Deanna Durbin were given reasonably high budgets, under the control of Joe Pasternak upon his emigration from Europe; if any one star can be said to have kept Universal in business during the early 1940s, it was Durbin, despite her often being woefully miscast as a young teenager when she was, clearly, a fully adult woman. By the start of World War II, the company was concentrating on small-budget production of the fare that had once been Universal's sidelines: westerns, melodramas, serials and sequels to the studio's horror classics.

Gone were the big ambitions, and though Universal had few big names under contract, those it had been cultivating, like William Wyler and Margaret Sullavan, now left. The Laemmles were unceremoniously removed from all association with the company, and the new owners instituted severe cuts in production budgets. When production dragged on, a cash-strapped studio could not repay the loan, and the bank foreclosed, claiming the pledged collateral, the Laemmle family's stock in (and therefore control of) Universal Pictures Company Inc. Throughout its twenty-plus years' existence, Universal had never borrowed money; to complete production on "Show Boat" the studio turned to the Standard Chartered Bank for a $750,000 production loan.

His intentions to upgrade production resulted in, in 1935, a lavish, all-star remake of Show Boat. This would prove to be a costly production for the studio, and for the Laemmle family. held fast to distribution, studio and production operations. The theater chain was scrapped, but Laemmle Jr. Taking on the task of modernizing and upgrading a film conglomerate in the depths of the depression was risky, and for a time Universal slipped into receivership.

Other Laemmle productions of this period include Imitation of Life and My Man Godfrey. also created a successful niche for the studio, beginning a long-running series of horror classics, among them Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Mummy. Laemmle, Jr. His early efforts included the 1929 version of Show Boat, the first color musical; King of Jazz; and All Quiet on the Western Front, winner of the "Best Picture" award for 1930.

saw what his father could not, and acted at once to bring Universal up to date, by buying and building theaters, converting the studio to sound production, and upgrading the quality of production. To his credit, Laemmle, Jr. benefitted from one of the greatest acts of nepotism in Hollywood history when his father handed him the keys to — and control of — Universal City as a twenty-first birthday gift in 1928. Carl Laemmle, Jr.

Nazi persecution and a change in ownership for the parent Universal Pictures organization resulted in the dissolution of this subsidiary. In the USA, Universal Pictures did not distribute any of this subsidiary's films, but at least some of them were exhibited through other, independent, foreign-language film distributors based in New York, without benefit of English subtitles. With the advent of sound, these productions were made in the German language or, occasionally, Hungarian or Polish. This unit produced 3-4 films per year until 1936, migrating to Hungary and then Austria in the face of Hitler's increasing domination of central Europe.

In 1926, Universal also opened a production unit in Germany, Deutsche Universal-Film AG, under production direction of Joe Pasternak. Mayer company. For a few years in the early twenties the young producer Irving Thalberg tried to improve the quality of Universal's output, but he left in 1923 for a better opportunity with the Louis B. Content with a market in small towns, its product was primarily melodramas, cheap westerns, and serials.

By the early 1920s, as the other studios soared, Universal was decidedly in the second rank. He also financed all of his own films, refusing to take on debt. Unlike rivals Adolph Zukor, William Fox and Marcus Loew, Laemmle chose not to develop a theater chain. Despite Laemmle's role as an innovator, as a studio head he was extremely cautious, and within a few years the rapidly expanding film business had passed him by.

Studio management now became the third facet of Universal's operations, with the studio incorporated as a distinct subsidiary organization. Following the westward trend of the industry, in 1915, Laemmle opened the world's largest motion-picture production facility, Universal City Studios, on a 230-acre (0.9 km²) converted farm just over the Cahuenga Pass from Hollywood. By naming the stars of films, he was able to attract many of the leading players of the time, and created the star-system which helps sell films today. Though dodging the Edison trust, the new Universal company was an immediate success, in part because Laemmle broke with Edison's custom of refusing credit to actors.

Film production and distribution were the Universal company's activities. Eventually all would be bought out by Laemmle. While Laemmle was the primary figure in Universal, by absorbing several smaller firms he acquired a number of partners, among them Mark Dintinfass, Charles Baumann and Adam Kessel, and Pat Powers. That company quickly evolved into the "Independent Moving Picture Company", or IMP; and a further reorganization in 1911 saw IMP reincorporate as the "Universal Film Manufacturing Co.," on June 8, 1912, introducing the word "universal" into the organization's name.

Soon Laemmle and other disgruntled nickelodeon owners saw that a way to avoid paying Edison was to produce their own pictures, and in June 1909, Laemmle and partners started the Yankee Film Company. Using Edison's patent on the electric motor used in cameras and projectors, the trust collected fees on all aspects of movie production and exhibition, and also held a monopoly on distribution. For Laemmle and other such entrepreneurs, the creation in 1908 of the Edison-backed Motion Picture Trust meant that exhibitors were expected to pay fees for any trust-produced film they showed. Within weeks of his Chicago trip, he gave up dry-goods to buy the first of several nickelodeons.

One story has Laemmle watching a box office for hours, counting patrons and calculating the take for the day. On a 1905 buying trip to Chicago, he was struck by the popularity of nickelodeons. Carl Laemmle partnered with Abe Stern and Julius Stern to create Universal Pictures. The founder of Universal, Carl Laemmle, was an German Jewish immigrant who had settled in Wisconsin, where he managed a clothing store.

The longest-lived Hollywood film production company, Universal Pictures can trace its origins back to the creation in 1909 of a predecessor, the Yankee Film Company. . Distribution and other corporate, administrative offices are based in New York City. Universal Studios, a subsidiary of NBC Universal, has production studios and offices located at 100 Universal City Plaza Drive in Universal City, California, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County between Los Angeles and Burbank.

Los Angeles Library Photo Collection "Nestor Studios" . Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills - map Providencial and Water Development. Los Angeles Library Photo Collection "Bird-Eye View of Universal City" 1911. Putnam's Sons, 1931, illustrated.

G.P. The Life and Adventures of Carl Laemmle. Drinkwater, John. New York: Vintage, 1994.

Movie-Made America. Skalr, Robert. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998. When Hollywood Had a King.

Bruck, Connie. New York: Crown Publishers, 1998. The Last Mogul: Lew Wasserman, MCA and the Hidden History of Hollywood. McDougal, Dennis.

New York: Fireside, 1989. The Hollywood Studios. Mordden, Ethan. New York: Pantheon Books, 1989.

The Genius of the System. Schatz, Thomas. Rex Motion Picture Co., William Swanson. Powers Motion Picture Co., Pat Powers, president.

The New York Motion Picture Company, Charles Baumann and Adam Kessel, proprietors. Nestor Motion Picture Company, David Horsley. Champion Motion Picture Co., Mark Dintinfass, president. Miami Vice (2006).

Nanny McPhee (2006). Curious George (2006). Two for the Money (2005). The Skeleton Key (2005).

Serenity (2005). The Producers (2005). Prime (2005). The Perfect Man (2005).

Munich (2005). King Kong (2005). Kicking & Screaming (2005). Jarhead (2005).

Cinderella Man (2005). The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005). Van Helsing (2004). Ray (2004, distribution).

Meet the Fockers (2004). In Good Company (2004). Friday Night Lights (2004). The Chronicles of Riddick (2004).

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004). The Bourne Supremacy (2004). Seabiscuit (2003). The Rundown (2003).

Peter Pan (2003). Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003). Love Actually (2003). Hulk (2003).

Honey (2003). The Cat in the Hat (2003). Bruce Almighty (2003). American Wedding (2003).

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003). 8 Mile (2002). The Bourne Identity (2002). Jurassic Park III (2001).

American Pie 2 (2001). The Mummy Returns (2001). A Beautiful Mind (2001, distribution). Erin Brockovich (2000, distribution).

End of Days (1999). American Pie (1999). The Mummy (1999). The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997).

Daylight (1996). Casino (Film) (1995). Balto (1995). Apollo 13 (1995).

Junior (1994). We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993, distribution). Schindler's List (1993). Jurassic Park (1993).

Carlitos Way (1993). Scent of a Woman (1992). Child's Play 3 (1991). Kindergarten Cop (1990).

Child's Play 2 (1990). Back to the Future Part III (1990). An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1990). Back to the Future Part II (1989).

The Land Before Time (1988 plus sequels). Jaws: The Revenge (1987). An American Tail (1986). The Breakfast Club (1985).

Back to the Future (1985). Sixteen Candles (1984). Scarface (1983). Jaws 3-D (1983).

The Thing (1982). Sophie's Choice (1982). Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).

E.T. Conan the Barbarian (1982). On Golden Pond (1981). The Blues Brothers (1980 plus sequel 2000).

National Lampoon's Animal House (1978). Jaws 2 (1978). The Deer Hunter (1978). Slap Shot (1977).

Jaws (1975). The Sting (1973). American Graffiti (1973). Silent Running (1971).

The Andromeda Strain (1971). Airport (1970) and its sequels (released 1974, 1977 and 1979). Marnie (1964). The Birds (1963).

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). That Touch of Mink (1962, distribution). Lover Come Back (1961, distribution). Spartacus (1960).

Pillow Talk (1959). Written on the Wind (1956). Magnificent Obsession (1954). Winchester '73 (1950).

Hamlet (1948). Naked City (1947). The Killers (1946). The Egg & I (1946).

The Bank Dick (1940). My Little Chickadee (1939). One Hundred Men and a Girl (1937). Three Smart Girls (1936).

My Man Godfrey (1936). Show Boat (1936). Magnificent Obsession (1935). The Bride of Frankenstein (1935).

Imitation of Life (1934). The Invisible Man (1933). Counsellor at Law (1933). Back Street (1932).

Frankenstein (1931). Dracula (1931). The King of Jazz (1930). All Quiet on the Western Front (1930).

Show Boat (1929). The Phantom of the Opera (1925). The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923). Foolish Wives (1921).

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