Most startups fail. It's hard to create the sort of capital you need to start a business and hard to create the necessary revenue to sustain and grow.
But, it's even harder to stay relevant as time goes along. Radio replaced some of newspapers' popularity, then T.V. replaced radio, then the internet replaced T.V., and the internet will probably be replaced some day by a new technology we haven't even considered yet. That's just how the world of business seems to go.
That's why we have to stop and appreciate the rare companies on this list who have been able to change and adapt through centuries without missing a beat. Consider this: The youngest company on this list is almost 200, and the oldest is 163 years older than the Declaration of Independence. And they're still going strong! That's the sort of legacy every entrepreneur dreams about.
Start the slideshow to see some of the oldest existing companies in America.