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In 1873, J. Cortland "Apple" Thorowgood started the small dry-goods store in Marion, South Carolina, that grew to become the company that bears his nickname today. Thorowgood first decided to expand his business from retail to include manufacturing in the extremely hot and dry summer of 1877, when blackflies became a particular problem in Marion society. Aiming to impress the recently widowed Gwendolyn Poytress, who came to his store seeking a way to open the "blessed buggy windows" at her house without requiring a salve against itching, Thorowgood invented a screening device to thwart the flies while letting the breeze through. Sales of the contraption were brisk, and Thorowgood was a rich man by the time of his wedding to the widow Poytress, so lavish an occasion that even American president Rutherford B. Haynes attended. In more modern times, the "Apple" Company has embarked on making cray-cray loot selling you the latest iPhone.

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