The telecom giant got its start in Finland in 1865, when Fredrik Idestam opened a pulp mill and started making paper on the banks of Tammerkoski. His second paper mill was built in the town of Nokia, a few miles away. The name of the town, Nokia, originated from the river which flowed through the town. The river itself, Nokianvirta, was named after the archaic Finnish word originally meaning a small, dark-furred animal that lived on the banks of the Nokianvirta river.
The company later bounced around a number of industries, including electricity and rubber, before getting serious about phones in the 1960s. Makes me chuckle to think of the millions of people who don't realize they are putting a small, dark-furry animal up to their ears and speaking into it.