Happy 20th Birthday

1995 marked the beginning of a new digital era. Businesses and consumers were embarking on a new adventure together, hand-in-hand, stepping into unfamiliar digital territory. And for us at Ashburnham, it was also the start of something new…

On 26th September 1995, Ashburnham Insurance Services Limited was formed after the managers of Rushtons’ Southend branch took over. Robert A Rushton began trading in 1947 as a nationwide insurance broker – but in 1995 managers, Anthony Fassenfelt and John Massey, felt it was time to evolve from merely being a high street broker and start looking toward the future. With the inclusion of commercial insurance products and online services, Ashburnham were able to grow and thrive in the digital age. Many of our staff and customers have remained loyal throughout the past two decades since our change from Rushton to Ashburnham, and we are pleased to say that our decades of experience in insurance have enabled us to stay at the forefront of the industry whilst still remaining true to our local roots.

So a big Happy 20th Birthday to us!!

But let’s take a look at some of the other things that turned 20 in 2015 and, like us, are still alive and kicking…

In 1995, Toy Story premièred!

Toy Story in 1995

In 1995, we saw the release of the Toy Story children’s movie – Pixar’s first feature-length computer-animated film and the biggest movie of the year. Two decades later and Toy Story is still beloved by people of all ages and is considered to be one of the best animated films ever made.

In 1995, eBay was founded!

eBay in 1995

eBay needs no introduction… The company, founded in 1995, is one of the biggest online success stories of the dot-com bubble. The online auction and shopping website, though it started as a side hobby for the founder Pierre Omidyar, is today a multi-billion dollar business localised to over thirty countries.

In 1995, Microsoft released Windows 95 – and its Start button!

Windows 95 in 1995

In 1995 came Windows 95 (obviously), marking a significant progression from its predecessor, Windows 3.1. It was a huge success, with new graphical features including Microsoft’s famous “Start” button which even now it seems that Windows users worldwide cannot bear to do without, following the protests against Windows 8’s initial removal of it. Happy 20th birthday, Start button!

In 1995, the DVD was announced!

DVDs in 1995

The DVD (or Digital Versatile Disc) was invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic in 1995 and is still widely used today, despite there being Blu Ray. DVDs offered a much higher storage capacity in comparison to CDs, while still being the same size and dimensions. The reason behind calling it the Digital Versatile Disc instead of the Digital Video Disc was to emphasise its ability to store anything and not just video files.

In 1995, Yahoo was founded!

Yahoo in 1995

Though technically Yahoo was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo (under the name “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web) in 1994, it wasn’t until 1995 that Yahoo was incorporated and given its current name. Yahoo was often used as the first point of entry when connecting to the internet for many people, featuring a web portal, a search engine, a directory and more.

In 1995, the very first PlayStation hit the UK!

PlayStation in 1995

First launched in Japan at the end of the 1994, the PlayStation was released worldwide in 1995 and was an instant hit. It was the first video game console to ship 100 million units, and all within its first year. The PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 all helped to maintain the PlayStation’s loyal fanbase throughout the past two decades and, as of 2015, is the strongest selling console brand worldwide.

In 1995, we saw the start of the social networking website phenomenon!

Social Networking in 1995

Both match.com and classmates.com were founded in 1995. Much like Facebook, classmates.com sought to help users locate old school friends and classmates online. Match.com, though an online dating service, is also a form of social networking and still serves as one of the most popular online dating websites. Social networks popularly allow users to create their own personal profile, where other users are able to connect with them.

In 1995, the USB was introduced!

USB in 1995

The USB (short for Universal Serial Bus) was developed and introduced in 1995 as an industry standard for connecting devices to computers. Though it wouldn’t be widely produced for a while later, the first integrated circuits supporting USB were produced by Intel in 1995. Originally the “Full Speed” data transfer was 12Mbps for USB 1.0; data transfer speeds for USB 3.0 these days can reach a massive 10Gbps.

In 1995, Starbucks brought out its Frappuccino!

Frappuccino in 1995

Frappuccino is a trademark owned by Starbucks, who brought out their Frappuccino across all their stores in 1995 following the success of it in a limited number of stores. Today, the Frappuccino is available in 66 countries and in more than 36,000 drink combinations.

Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex reached #1!

Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex, a Swedish band, reached #1 in the music charts at the beginning of 1995, setting the tone for the crazy months ahead… Even now, the song is still a popular dance tune at discos and holiday resorts. The song has since been featured on TV shows such as Family Guy and New Girl.

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