The yachting cap with the black leather bill, the long white mustache and the floppy bow tie were all part of Sir Thomas Lipton’s trademark “Great Lipton” persona.
text size A A A July 18, 2010
Just as the Civil War was coming to an end, a young journeyman from Glasgow, Scotland, arrived by ship in New York. When Thomas Lipton came to America he was like thousands of other recent arrivals — penniless and anonymous. The young Glaswegian spent five years in the United States doing odd jobs and taking in his surroundings before returning to Scotland to found his empire — Lipton Teas.
Michael D’Antonio, author of A Full Cup: Sir Thomas Lipton’s Extraordinary Life and His Quest for the America’s Cup, says the time Lipton spent learning the ways of American business became invaluable to the success of his enterprise.
“He learned that it was far better to scrub up your little store and light it brightly, and display your goods with some flare than to try to hide the flaws in your merchandise and pass it off as first-rate goods,” D’Antonio tells NPR’s Guy Raz.