Starbucks Is Named After a Moby Dick Character
By Chad Upton | Editor
In 1971, an English teacher, a history teacher and writer started a coffee roasting business in Seattle.
It’s not surprising that such an intellectual group would have an affinity for classics like Moby Dick. In fact, Starbucks was nearly called Pequod, the name of the whaling ship in Moby Dick. Thankfully, one of the partners rejected the name. Instead, they went with Starbucks, the name of Pequod’s first mate.
Although Starbuck was a fictional young quaker from Nantucket, there were a number of real sailors from that era named “Starbuck.” Naming a coffee company was not the first time the Starbuck name was borrowed either. There is an island in the South Pacific, a popular region for whaling, called Starbuck Island.
Starbuck Island was heavily mined for phosphate in the late 1800s and many ships were wrecked there. The high frequency of shipwrecks was probably caused by the reefs that surrounded the island, but there is a mythical explanation too.
In Greek Mythology there are seductresses who lure sailors to shipwreck on the coast of their islands. These mythical creatures are called Sirens and the Starbucks logo contains one.
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