Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Brands Is Named After A Real Person?

Captain Morgan
Aunt Jemima
Miss Chiquita
Mr. Clean
A colored engraving of Welsh buccaneer Sir Henry Morgan.
Unknown Illustrator/Wikimedia

Answer: Captain Morgan

Many brands have had mascots for so long and used them across so many advertising campaigns that they practically feel like real people, or it would be easy for us to assume they were based on a real person at any rate. Although many of these mascots are household names, like Mr. Clean, very few of them can be traced back to actual people.

Among the fabricated mascots like Mr. Clean, however, you’ll find Captain Morgan. Despite his cartoonish appearance in rum advertisements bearing his name and striking a pose with one foot raised upon a rum cask, the name and general character of Captain Morgan is based on a real life individual: Sir Henry Morgan.

Morgan was a 17th century Welsh privateer, captain of a private sailing vessel that engaged in warfare activities on behalf of England against Spain, and operated throughout Central America raiding Spanish settlements and attacking Spanish ships. Eventually, he was arrested and summoned to London in a bid to appease the Spanish and settle relations between the two nations, but he was treated to a hero’s welcome by the people and royalty alike. Not only did he fail to face any real repercussions when sent back to England, he was appointed a Knight Bachelor and returned to the Americas where he served as the Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica.

His life on the high seas and as a wealthy plantation owner in Jamaica was highly romanticized after his death and not only inspired many pirate-themed works of fiction over the intervening centuries, but also led to his becoming a brand mascot in the 1940s when the Seagram Company used his likeness to brand and promote their rum.

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