3 Fun Facts About GlaxoSmithKline plc

Did you know this about GlaxoSmithKline plc (LON: GSK)?

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

When investing, your capital is at risk. The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you put in.

Read More

The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, any form of personal advice. Investments in a currency other than sterling are exposed to currency exchange risk. Currency exchange rates are constantly changing, which may affect the value of the investment in sterling terms. You could lose money in sterling even if the stock price rises in the currency of origin. Stocks listed on overseas exchanges may be subject to additional dealing and exchange rate charges, and may have other tax implications, and may not provide the same, or any, regulatory protection as in the UK.

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More.

I’m sure dedicated shareholders of GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) (NYSE: GSK.US) will know all about the pharmaceutical giant’s financials, prospects and valuation.

But large, established companies such as Glaxo often come with many interesting stories from years gone by. I’ve trawled the internet and discovered these fun facts you probably never knew about the FTSE 100 member:

As regular as clockwork…

In 1842, Thomas Beecham launched his Beecham’s Pills business. His first great success was with laxative pills made from an unpromising sounding combination of aloe, ginger and soap. Incredibly, the pills proved to be the most effective remedy on the market by far in the mid 19th century.

By 1859 the success had led to Beecham’s opening its first factory in Lancashire, and by 1939 the company had also acquired the (now iconic) Lucozade energy drink, Macleans toothpaste and Brylcreem hair cream brands.

Glaxo Wellcome merged with SmithKline Beecham during 2000.

It was almost called LactoSmithKline…

Back in 1906, the directors of a New Zealand company selling dried milk as a baby food, realised they needed a catchier name than ‘Defiance’ for their product (smart move!).

Fortunately for us shareholders, however, the directors, having set their hearts on using Lacto as their product name, discovered similar names were already registered. But by adding and changing letters, the name ‘Glaxo’ was born. 

The baby milk product was sold under the slogan “Glaxo builds bonny babies” from 1908. Glaxo later became Glaxo Laboratories and went on to open new units in London in 1935.

The drink of top Olympic athletes… yes, it’s Horlicks!

Not only is GlaxoSmithKline’s iconic malted milk drink more than 138 year old but, unbelievably, it was used extensively during the 1948 London Olympic Games and was made available at every venue to give Olympic athletes an extra energy boost. So much for Lucozade!

What now?

If you own GlaxoSmithKline shares and are looking for compelling investment stories about other blue chips, this exclusive wealth report reviews five familiar names that should benefit YOUR portfolio.

In fact, all five selections offer a mix of robust prospects, illustrious histories and dependable dividends, and have just been declared by the Fool as “5 Shares You Can Retire On“.

Just click here for this special report now — it’s free for a limited time only.

> Andrew owns shares in GlaxoSmithKline.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

More on Company Comment

Hand of person putting wood cube block with word VALUE on wooden table
Company Comment

Value has been building behind the Diageo share price

Despite the business growing, the Diageo share price first reached its current level just over 19 months ago and hasn't…

Read more »

Older couple walking in park
Investing Articles

5 stocks to buy for high and rising dividend income

I can see a host of shares to buy on the FTSE 100 offering me exceptional levels of income. Here…

Read more »

Young mixed-race woman looking out of the window with a look of consternation on her face
Investing Articles

I don’t care if FTSE 100 shares fall further, I’m buying them today

I'm happy to go shopping for FTSE 100 shares today, even though I accept that they could have further to…

Read more »

Happy young female stock-picker in a cafe
Investing Articles

Rolls-Royce shares are down 18% in a month and I’m finally going to buy them

Investors who bought Rolls-Royce shares have been repeatedly disappointed, but I'm willing to take a chance on them before they…

Read more »

Storytelling image of a multiethnic senior couple in love - Elderly married couple dating outdoors, love emotions and feelings
Investing Articles

How I’d invest £10k in a Stocks and Shares ISA today

Now looks like a good time to buy cheap FTSE 100 shares inside a Stocks and Shares ISA. These are…

Read more »

Black father holding daughter in a field of cows
Investing Articles

Today’s financial crisis is the perfect moment to buy cheap shares

I'm building a portfolio of FTSE 100 stocks by purchasing cheap shares whenever I see an opportunity. There's a good…

Read more »

Long-term vs short-term investing concept on a staircase
Investing Articles

I’d buy Tesco shares in October to bag their 5.4% yield 

Tesco shares have fallen lately but I think this makes them attractively valued for a dividend stock I would aim…

Read more »

Young mixed-race woman looking out of the window with a look of consternation on her face
Investing Articles

I would do anything to hold Diageo in my portfolio (but I won’t do that)

Diageo is one of my favourite stocks on the entire FTSE 100 and I'd love to hold it, but one…

Read more »