Did you know the New York Stock Exchange started as a coffee house? This is true of Lloyds of London as well.
Up until recently the runners at the British Stock Exchange were still called waiters due to fact it too started as a coffee house.
In London many coffee houses went on to become some of the world's most powerful businesses.
Lloyd's Coffeehouse became Lloyds of London. The Baltic Coffeehouse became the London Shipping Exchange. The Jerusalem Cafe became the East India Company.
Other cafe's evolved into centers for both the arts and sciences. Sir Isaac Newton hung out at the Grecian Coffeehouse. Jonathon Swift and Alexander Pope hung out at Old Slaughter's Cafe.
The French and American Revolution were fomented in the coffee house. On July 12, 1789 Camille Desmoulins leaped on a table at the cafe's of the Palais Royal and urged the mob to take up arms against the French aristocracy.
Due to the fact that much discussion of political intrigue and gossip occurred over a cup of Joe at these famous coffee houses it was only a matter of time before someone started writing these things down.
A man named Richard Steele decided to publish a weekly magazine on the most interesting gossip collected from the coffee houses. Correspondents were sent out to these coffee houses and wrote what they heard as narratives. This collection went on the become "Tatler" the first modern magazine. London's second oldest newspaper "Lloyd's News" started as a bulletin board in Lloyds Coffeehouse.
Of course it was said best by Vincent Van Gogh who was a big frequenter of cafe society. "I have tried to show the cafe' as a place where one can go mad."