My latest column for the Visual Thesaurus looks at numbers from a non-mathematical perspective: as words and names. I include commentary on some numeric names I’ve written about here, including 605, SENS8, 23, and 427.
Original 420 Brand CBD gummies. For more on 420 as shorthand for “cannabis,” see my 2014 post.
Full access the column is restrict to subscribers (still just $19.95 a year)! Here’s an excerpt:
The sources of number-names are, well, innumerable; for every transparent number-name – think of all those 123s and 360s – there are many creative, obscure, and downright quirky examples. Here's a sampling of established and new brands that rely on numerals to tell their name story.
Founded in 1927 as Tote'm Stores (with an Alaskan totem pole in front of the original Dallas location), the convenience-store chain was renamed in 1946 to reflect its hours of operation, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., which were unprecedented at the time. Today most of the stores are open 24 hours.
There are conflicting stories about the name of this household cleaner, invented in 1957 and currently owned by the Clorox company. The company claims that the product was the 409th batch created by two Detroit scientists. But the son of one of those scientists says "409" is a tribute to his mother's birthdate, April 9. The Beach Boys' 1962 song "409" – the title is a reference to a 409cc-displacement Chevrolet engine – was used to market Formula 409 from the late 1990s to the early 2000s.
The "6" in the name stood for six dollars, the original room rate of this motel chain, founded in Santa Barbara, California, in 1962. In today's dollars, that translates to $49; the Motel 6 closest to me currently charges $86 per night.