August 27, 1955. The inaugural edition was published in Great Britain. Meant as a free publication for pub goers to settle friendly disputes, the book of human and animal records quickly became a best-seller. The book was the brain- child of Sir Hugh Beaver, the managing director of Dublin's famous Guinness Brewery. Beaver was struck with the idea during a failed hunting trip in Ireland, in which the party sought to settle which bird was the fastest game fowl. Beaver turned to brothers Ross and Norris McWhirter to produces the first book, who continued to compile the book for two decades. An American edition followed in 1956. Today, the book complies thousands of official Guinness world records.