10 Of The Oldest And Most Successful Corporations In America

There’s no question that corporations are among the most powerful entities in the world. Some companies can earn many billions of dollars per year, giving them near limitless funds to play around with. Take Apple as an example. In just the first few months of 2014, it’s made over $50 billion dollars in revenue. Imagine how much that’ll become through the rest of the year.

Obviously Apple is doing something right, but does it have what it takes to stay strong for the years to come? Apple was founded in 1976, meaning it has been around for 37 years. That’s not too bad, but there’ll be inevitable ups and downs within its lifetime, just like with any other company. Will it be able to withstand them?

The companies in this countdown have survived war, prohibition, and the test of time. Even the youngest company in this countdown has been around for over 200 years, which is 5.4 times older than the wildly successful Apple.

But just because a company is really old doesn’t make it a financial success, does it? Does longevity equate to them making the big bucks? Well, in the case of this list, it does. Most of these companies make billions of dollars a year, and one of these companies own trillions of dollars worth of clients’ assets. You don’t survive as long as these companies without knowing a thing or two about money and survivability, right?

Having said all that, let’s go ahead and take a look at these time-tested companies. You’ll probably be pretty familiar with a few of these companies, but chances are you’ll be surprised at number one on the list. Not only is number one on the countdown really old, its customers included the founding fathers of America. Not many companies can claim that, can they?

10 JPMorgan Chase - Est. 1799

Market Cap: $220.05 Billion

At the top of the countdown is the popular banking and finance company known as JPMorgan. The company has been banking for over 200 years and aims to be “the world’s most trusted and respected financial services institution." Today, it’s the largest bank in the United States, with assets totaling over $2.509 trillion.

9 Jim Beam (Beam, Inc.) -  Est. 1795

Market Cap: $13.61 Billion

Jim Beam is a highly successful whiskey company stationed in Clermont, Kentucky. Generations of the Beam family have been running the company, though the alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s forced them to temporarily stop their business. Luckily, after the prohibition ended, James Beam managed to revitalize the business, and it’s become one of the most successful whiskey companies around. In honor of James success after the prohibition, the company was known from that point on as “Jim Beam," though it is now known as Beam, Inc.

8 State Street - Est. 1792

Market Cap: $29.62 Billion

State Street Corporation is a financial services company stationed in Boston, and the second oldest bank in America. It works with institutions worldwide to provide training on the management and research of proper investments and the best way to handle assets. In 2010, the company earned a revenue of $8.95 billion dollars.

7 Cigna - Est. 1792

Market Cap: $21.45 Billion

Cigna is the first marine insurance company of the United States. They were also the first to institute a life-insurance policy for captains in the event of their death. This policy also covered captains unfortunate enough to be captured by Barbary coast pirates. Today, Cigna has over 35,000 employees worldwide and rakes in about $29.1 billion in annual revenues.

6 Bank of New York - Est. 1784

Market Cap: $26.14 Billion

Remember how State Street is the second oldest bank in America? Well this is the oldest. Also known as BNY Mellon, this company helps clients manage their financial assets. The bank values the investment of effort into their people, and is known for its marketing integrity. As of today, it has over 51,000 employees worldwide and $27.6 trillion in client assets in its custody.

5 Bowne (RR Donelly)- Est. 1775

Market Cap: $3.32 Billion

Bowne started off as a simple company that provided writing and printing materials, but today it’s in charge of providing financial, marketing, and business communication services around the world. Bowne was recently integrated into the RR Donnelley company, bringing its market cap to about $3.32 billion.

4 Ames (Griffon Corp) - Est. 1774

Market Cap: $664.7 Billion

Ames is the company that made the first shovels for colonists during their ventures to America, so in a way Ames literally paved the way for early colonization. You wouldn’t think it, but Ames was also a crucial asset to the American wars. Its products provided a means for creating the trenches which kept soldiers safe, basically making them a government necessity. Ames was recently acquired by the Griffon Corporation, a company that earned over $1.8 billion in in 2010.

3 Baker's Chocolate (Mondelez) - Est. 1764

Market Cap: $59.96 Billion

The Baker Chocolate company is the oldest chocolate providing company in America. Using his “chocolatier” skills, founder John Hannon made chocolate while his partner Walter Baker took care of the business side of things. After John Hannon disappeared on a trip, Dr. Baker inherited the company and added his name to the title. In 1979 they were incorporated into Kraft Foods, now Mondelez.

2 Lorillard Tobacco Company - Est. 1760

Market Cap: $17.27 Billion

Lorillard Tobacco is the third-largest cigarette company in the United States, and the oldest one as well. Its top sellers are Newport cigarettes, the second best-selling cigarette in the United States. In April of 2012, the company purchased a privately owned E-cigarette company, representing its journey into a new world of cigarette smoking.

In 2012, it sold over $6.6 billion and had a net income of $1.1 billion.

1 Caswell-Massey - Est. 1752

2001 Revenue: $20 Million

Caswell-Massey is the oldest soap and toiletries company in the United States. One of their most popular early customers were the founding fathers of America themselves, giving them quite the portfolio. The founder, Dr. Hunter, was very dedicated to the quality of his products, and only used the best ingredients from around the world. This value helped ensure the long-lasting nature of the company and helped them grow into the success they are today.

The company’s finances are rather secretive, but a 2001 estimate said it earned about $20 million dollars in sales. It might not be the highest in the countdown, but it’s certainly not bad for a 261-year-old company.

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