While many entries aren’t surprising, the 10 largest companies in the United States are a testament to the American Dream. All of these companies started with a dream and strong dedication, many of them having been around for over 100 years, even if they no longer have their original name. From oil production to retail department stores, there is a good chance you know someone who works for one of these companies.
Wal-Mart stores, commonly known as Walmart, is a large, well-known chain of retail department stores. Started in 1962 by Sam Walton, the company is the largest grocery retailer in the United States. It also includes Sam’s Club, which is an alternative to traditional Walmart stores, requiring a membership and focusing on bulk purchasing. In 2010, Walmart's revenue was $408.2 billion.
Exxon Mobil is the resulting oil company from a merger between Exxon and Mobil in 1999. Exxon and Mobil were both oil companies/gas stations, and Exxon Mobil continued the tradition of operating gas stations until 2008, when Exxon Mobil opted to leave the retail business. In 2010, Exxon Mobil's revenue was $284.6 billion.
Chevron is involved in oil, gas and geothermal energy production. Originally known as Standard Oil of California, and became Chevron in 1984, Chevron also owns its own shipping company, called Chevron Shipping Company. Chevron Shipping Company handles sea transportation for Chevron’s assets. In 2010, Chevron's revenue was $163.7 billion.
General Electric, or GE as it is more commonly known, was a product of Thomas Edison. In 1892, Edison’s Edison General Electric merged with Thomson-Houston Electric Company to for General Electric. GE deal primarily in power generation, using wind, hydro and coal, but has also produced everything from computers to washing machines. In 2010, GE's revenue was $156.8 billion.
Bank of America Corp.
Interestingly enough, Bank of America was originally called Bank of Italy, but after several acquisitions, became Bank of America in 1930. Since then, Bank of America has been involved in many more bank acquisitions and mergers, giving it its position in the top 10 U.S. companies. In 2010, Bank of America's revenue was $150.4 billion.
ConocoPhillips is yet another energy company in the top 10 US companies. Originally founded in 1875 as the Continental Oil and Transportation Company, which dealt with coal, oil, grease and candles, ConocoPhillips now primarily deals in oil: drilling, refining and distributing. In 2010, ConocoPhillips' revenue was $139.5 billion.
AT&T is the largest land line provider in the United States. It was created in 2005 when SBC and AT&T Corp. merged. AT&T is also one of the largest cellular dealers in the US, and at one point, had exclusive rights to distribute Apple’s iPhone. In 2010, AT&T's revenue was $123 billion.
Ford Motors was founded in 1903 by Henry Ford. Much of Ford’s success is due to Henry Ford’s development of the assembly line, allowing for construction of a much larger amount of vehicles in a relatively small space. In 2010, Ford Motors' revenue was $118.3 billion.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is known as an investment firm, but is also a retail banking company. Their services also expand to credit cards and asset management. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. was founded in 2000 when J.P. Morgan & Co. merged with Chase Manhattan Corporation. In 2010, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s revenue was $115.6 billion.
Hewlett-Packard, which is more commonly known as HP, was founded in 1939 by Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett. While today HP is typically thought of as a computer and printer company, it has produced many different electronics products over the years, most of which involve measuring electrical currents. In 2010, Hewlett-Packard's revenue was $114.5 billion.