Corporate Archivists' Job: Hunt Down Odd Treasures
Anyone remember the McDonald's 'Onion Nugget' from the 1970s?
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2012 3:56 PM CDT
A photo of a modern-day happy meal. The McDonald's archives holds an "Onion Nugget" from the 70's.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

(Newser) – Just what keeps a corporate archivist busy? Browsing eBay, tracking down former employees, hunting through warehouses, and searching far and wide for artifacts that define a company's past. The McDonald's archivist, for example, particularly loves a deep-fried chunk of onion that's stored in a climate-controlled room in Illinois. In the 1970s it was dubbed the Onion Nugget, a long-lost precursor to the Chicken McNugget, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Other corporate archival treasures include a feather quill pen used by the founder of LL Bean at his 1898 wedding. At the German company Henkel, an archivist has amassed 8,300 yards of shelf space displaying company relics and old products, including the first-ever glue stick. And at a Procter & Gamble mini-museum, books are filled with hair samples from celebrities like John Wayne and Frank Sinatra, back when they were fitted with wigs. "They cut hair off though," says an archivist. "They didn't pull it out by the roots."