wow this took like six months and ended up a lot longer than i intended and i’m not even sure if i answered the question you were asking1
i am ignoring literally everything from canon because canon says that every single company owned by wayne enterprises is called Wayne Insert-Industry-Name-Here and that’s dumb as all hell and i hate it. also i made the company founding contemporary with famous olde rich people like the rockefellers and whatnot because Old Money. i’ll put dates on some of these but on some of them (like when we’re getting real granular) i just cannot be fucked to bother. let’s also agree that there are a bunch of things that are technically subsidiaries but which are actually the exact same goddamn thing just slightly altered because it’s in a different state or something, which i don’t need to list.
i am assuming for these purposes that wayne enterprises is a privately held conglomerate with control having been ceded to a board of directors during thomas wayne’s tenure as ceo-in-name-mostly as well as while the company was in a trust; the board was subsequently dissolved once bruce was old enough to make that decision. privately held companies aren’t obligated to disclose financials or maintain a board, which is great if you’re planning to be batman and also make a lot of theoretically financially unwise decisions like setting a minimum wage of $15 throughout the organization and implementing a cash profit sharing plan.
anti-trust and monopoly laws aren’t an issue because they’re way too diversified and none of their business units dominate their chosen industry. there are probably conspiracy theories that the reason for the immense diversity of interests is actually to keep different markets competitive and protect other businesses from anti-trust suits, which would be pretty compelling if every wayne from the start weren’t fueled by spite and pettiness.
anyone who wants to has blanket permission to use this for whatever because canon is for suckers but so is figuring out corporate structures yourself2
Wayne Enterprises (1864)
Wayne Capital (1864)
Technically speaking Wayne Capital was Wayne Enterprises before they diversified but I didn’t want to clutter up the big header so here we are. Ostensibly started as an investment firm, actually started as a ponzi scheme that went sideways and turned into a legitimate business. There was a war going on, things were confusing, people were dying or else just skipping town because it seemed like a good time for that kind of thing. Next thing you know you’ve got a lot of extra cash and you’re actually making a decent amount of interest on that small loan you made to that guy with the boat. One thing leads to another and now you’re a shipping tycoon who also owns some banks. These things happen.
Wayne Capital Bank (1865)
- It’s a bank, you know what a bank is.
- Coinsure: Unlike Some People We Could Name, We’re Regulated Like A Bank, Because We Are One4
- Eventually expanded into allowing user profiles, donations, recurring donations, and crowdfunding.
- Totally works as a Ko-Fi or GoFundMe alternative tho.5
Arkenity Financial (1947)
- Large-scale industrial loans in particular are handled under this banner.
Coine Realty (merger 1982)
- They bought Cobblepot Real Estate Services for cheap when the parent company was having financial trouble and then merged it with existing real estate services that were previously part of Wayne Capital.
- Previously Cobblepot Real Estate Services actually just owned a lot of property for slumlording purposes.
- Guess who’s still bitter.
Wakewater Insurance Services (1885)
Property and other insurances through Wakewater are some of the only policies to fully cover acts of supervillainy and/or heroism.
This division bleeds cash under Bruce but who cares.
Wakewater Life Insurance Company (1885)
- Fuck this, I’ll insure my own goddamn self.
Wakewater Health (1983)
- Thomas was in charge so all their plans are extremely generous.
Wakewater Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (1931)
- Fuck this, I’ll insure my own goddamn cars.
Wakewater Home and Renters Insurance Company (1908)
- Renters got added later, probably when Gotham got more apartments.
Tropos Energy (Formerly Wayne Oil and Gas, 1896)
When they were planning to change the name of this division, Thomas Wayne lobbied for Waynergy, and would have given up fairly quickly if someone had not pointed out that this sounded too much like Weinergy. Thomas insisted on referring to this branch of the company as ‘Weinergy’ for the remainder of his life, and no one could stop him, because he owned it. Imagine working your whole life to become one of the top energy researchers in the world just to have the guy who owns your whole company, a philanthropic brain surgeon, introduce you as ‘one of the Weiner Boys from over at Weinergy’.
Nor’easter Co (merger 2009)
- Wind energy tech
- Did they buy the company just because Bruce liked the name better than the old one? No one is sure.
Gotham Solar (1987)
- Associating Gotham with the sun in any capacity is hilarious.
- If It Works In Gotham It’s Gotta Be Good (unofficial motto)
Great Lakes HydroElectric (1904)
- It’s two years younger than the hydroelectric plant near my house because I said so.
- Nuclear power plants
- This name seemed like a really good idea in the 50s.
Galactomics Lifestyle (2004)
- Furniture and decor
- Most people are not aware that they also run nuclear power plants.
GaleTek (Formerly Wayne Rail Company, 1871)
They were the Wayne Rail Company, and then the Gotham Rail Company, and then Gotham Land and Sea, then GLS which they pretended didn’t stand for anything or possibly stood for a variety of charming slogans, then they merged with about three different aviation companies to swallow them into their aviation division and the combined name they came up with was GaleTek. Welcome to corporate naming conventions, it’s a goddamn nightmare.
Hart Aviation (1927)
- They used to have a lot of defense contracts but that all went down the tubes in the 80s because Bruce’s parents weren’t down with that. Now they just make cool shit for commercial use.
- They also make zeppelins because it’s a comic book, someone has to make the fucking zeppelins and it might as well be Batman.
Gotham Rail Company (1871)
- They’re actually a railroad so they got to keep the original name.
- Well, sir, there’s nothing on Earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car monorail.
Superior Freighters Inc. (1874)
- I’m on a boat.
- They’re classified as ships but generally lake freighters are referred to as boats, that’s a fun fact, enjoy.
Wayne Motors (1914)
- Founded because one of Bruce’s ancestors really hated Henry Ford. You’d think it would be because of the unabashed antisemitism but it was actually the pacifism. In an ocean of good reasons to hate Henry Ford he found the bad one.
- These were almost all notoriously-shitty also-ran semi-bootlegs until the turn of the century.
- They also made racecars but those weren’t available for retail sale so the good racecars weren’t enough to offset the reputation of the horrible cars people could actually buy.
- The racecars were good because Bruce’s great-grandpa had a liquor-smuggling operation.
- Fox finally had the bright idea to just get weird with it so they brought back really old models of car with the exact same body but with electric engines. They’re extremely popular.
- They have a contract with the city of Gotham to produce really nice city buses at a loss.
Gotham City Broadcasting Network Company (acquired 1972)
Patrick Wayne bought a broadcasting company just so they’d stop talking about Watergate. He was a big Nixon fan. The networks have gotten better since then. Thomas Wayne set a lot of strict advertising guidelines that continue to this day. It’s become an umbrella for Wayne Enterprise’s entire entertainment division, which is a bitch to map out because entertainment companies are structural nightmares7. I did this to myself but I’m still mad about it.
Birch & White Publications (acquired 1953)8
- Acquired before the rest of the entertainment division because they didn’t originally have an entertainment division, just this one shitty book publisher.
- Founded in 1866 by what was probably a secret gay couple who liked magazines about men being manly and fighting weasels, or whatever it is men did in 1866. I’m imagining the homoerotic covers on these magazines and they’re great. Do you think they were former cowboys? I’m going to say they were former cowboys9.
- I just looked it up and Patrick’s dad was named Kenneth. Kenneth Wayne. I can’t believe this. Anyway he was really into these books as a kid so when the publisher started going defunct he just straight-up bought it.
- Birch & White owned shares of GCBN as part of their deal with the radio station to produce radio shows of their more popular characters, which was why patrick bought this one instead of NBC probably.
- These days they publish all sorts of stuff but they also republish their huge backlog of old weird shit. Also they brought back the pulp magazine and the homoerotic covers. I’m going to say that was Thomas. He insisted.10
- If you think I’m listing individual national network affiliates you can go straight to hell.
- They use this one for entertainment news.
- Did they name their website after what Thomas insisted on calling the main network? Yes.
- Sure, Tommy, we’ll get right on that.
- The joke’s on them, Dog Surgeon had an enormously popular primetime run.
- The dog surgeon had a dogtorate.
GCBN Radio (1931)
The original and still the champion
- They spotlight a lot of local and indie bands, it’s pretty great actually.
Gotham Television Company (1986)
This is all the cable channels. There’s a lot of them.
Clue TV (1986)
- This was basically The Martha Wayne Background Noise Channel.
- Now it’s The Bruce Wayne Background Noise Channel.
- It’s comedy but also shlocky b-movie science fiction and horror.
- Experimented briefly with a Z instead of an S and everyone hated it.
- In this universe they picked up MST3K because I said so and no one can stop me.
Civil History (2003)
- A history channel that focuses on civil rights instead of wars and aliens and war with aliens.
- Science news but also informative documentaries.
- It’s a soap opera channel and lemme tell ya they’ve got some weird ones.
Rolling Stone (1992)
- They gave Rolling Stone a channel because why the fuck not.
- Really good political news coverage, actually.
Vaudevision (founded 1914, acquired 2003)
Pretty comparable to RKO except it lived. You can probably guess their schtick.
Vaudevision Animation (1941)
- The weird cartoons that they only show on cartoon network at 2am probably.
VVA Classics (2001)
- Old-ass Vaudevision cartoons on perpetual reruns
Vaudevision Home Network (1983)
- Pretty standard movie channel.
- Spanish language television.
Kale Studios (2017)
- World of Kale from Kale Studios, brought to you by Vaudevision.
Northern Hospitality (acquired 1936)
I’m starting to lose steam, here. Figuring out GCBN was exhausting. Why did I do this to myself. Anyway Wayne Enterprises owns some hotels because reasons.
Red Oak Hotels (1936)
- Pretty nice hotels, lots of conference centers.
- Art Deco as a motherfucker and they will never update their aesthetic, ever.
- They keep stained glass artisans across the country in business.
Lakeshore Motel (1962)
- So skeevy
- Can’t argue with the prices tho
- Efforts have been made to get them less skeevy but they’ve still got a pretty skeevy vibe.
Amberview Hotels (acquired 2005)
Midrange hotels, extraordinarily generic.
Bruce bought these just to put another layer of separation between himself and the inns he wanted to open because the Lakeshore Motels were too skeevy.
Amberview Inn (2006)
- Cheap like a motel with hourly rates but actually about as nice as the hotels.
- They hire a lot of women with large gaps in their employment history.
Grand Lighthouse Resort (1906, acquired 1940)
- It’s on its own island. Maximum fanciness.
- They replaced the golf course with a small farm in the 90s and now all the fancy food is grown on their fancy farm.
Wayne Health (1908)
So many supervillains used to work under the Wayne Health umbrella. Mostly because when people do evil shit they get fired. It’s not supervillainy if you’re gainfully employed doing it. If you’re unemployed and experimenting on animal brains, you have a problem.
Wayne Health (1908)
- Originally Wayne Ray Tech. They made X-Rays. The name was meant to imply that they had other, even better rays. It was 1908. It seemed plausible.
- Started making centrifuges and pH meters in the 30s, then expanded into spectrophotometers… why am I telling you specific devices? They gradually added more and more lab and medical technologies, that’s good enough.
- Anyone who tries to make anything brain-related gets the side-eye these days. They’ve been burned too many times before.
- “And it’s definitely not supposed to be used to read or control minds?” any engineer working on a brain-related project will be asked, repeatedly, forever.
Wayne Care Network (1966)
Gotham Central Hospital System (1966)
St. Rita’s Hospital (1984)
- Pharmaceutical development.
- Pretty standard pharma company until Thomas got his hands on it. Insulin! Insulin for everyone! They’re practically giving it away!
- I’m making myself sad so let’s move on.
Asclepius Digital (2006)
- Health software, digitization of file systems, etc
- It’s boring but vital, okay?
Gotham Department Stores, Inc. (1898)
Owning a department store: all the cool tycoons are doing it. Right? Right. Started as Wayne Co, eventually diversified and Wayne Co became a subsidiary of a larger company.
Wayne Co. (1898)
- Started specifically to get in on the whole ‘mail order catalog’ craze.
- Even more specifically, the ones full of snake oil. Just, pages and pages of horseshit potions and elixirs.
- We wrapped this tapeworm in some cocaine for ultimate weight loss! Order today!12
- They also sold other things, eventually. But mostly weird bottles of nonsense.
- Actually did a lot better in the Great Depression when they sold cheap shit by mail, only some of which still had tapeworms and cocaine in it.
- These days it’s very Sharper Image. Lots of toys and airplane catalogs.
Gotham Department Store (1916)
- What if we sold things in stores? Wacky idea, I know.
- They didn’t stick with the Wayne Co. name because Wayne Co. had… a reputation. On account of all the coked-up tapeworms.
- They tried to go for a high fashion demographic, which worked out for about ten years and then went all to hell for another ten years.
- Spent many years as the store Grandma would take you to for back-to-school clothes shopping.
- Saw a resurgence in the modern day with the advent of such exclusive product lines as the infamous “It Has Pockets” line of women’s fashion.
Green Market (1995)
- Thomas to his board of directors: “What if we opened a grocery store that sold nothing but food produced ethically enough and of high enough quality that I would be willing to buy it for my family?”
- “Mr. Wayne are you asking this just because you’re sick of not being able to make impulse food purchases while shopping”
- Thomas Wayne fingerguns aggressively while backing out of the boardroom.
- They really need to work on their marketing because everyone assumes it’s all pricey organic stuff instead of reasonably-priced locally-sourced products.
SuperModern Foods Company (1962)
This name seemed like a good idea in the 60s. I was going to list all the things here but have you ever looked at what Nestle owns? Or Unilever? You think I’m making a list like that? No. Fuck that. They probably used to own a lot more companies and then got rid of a bunch of them because they sucked.
Space Cakes (1962)
- They should have changed the name but they didn’t and they get bought by a lot of confused stoners.
- A fixture at Gotham gas stations.
Havermann Dairy (acquired 1967)
- Space Cakes had a disagreement with a dairy supplier so they bought them. As one does.
Alberici Meats (acquired 1974)
- They had to do something with all the extra cows.
Tucker’s Old-Fashioned Soda (acquired 2015)
- “Why did Bruce Wayne acquire an obscure small-town Kansas soda company?”
- “Who can possibly understand the whims of the idle rich,” says local reporter.
Saraniti Pickles (acquired 2017)
- Walmart nearly destroyed their perfectly-acceptable business with shady practices.
- Spite: A Valid Way To Run A Business Since 1864
I have put off finishing this for like two months because I was so deeply disinterested in figuring out the technology subsidiary, but now I’m putting off finishing something else so here we are. Originally the Gotham Radio Company, now it’s just GRC because video killed the radio star and also they mostly make weird shit that isn’t radios. In close competition with Wayne Health to see whose former employees are most likely to become supervillains.
- Technically speaking they still make radios and turntables and whatnot, but mostly it’s, like. Cables. Circuit boards. The kind of shit that only gets used by other companies and also people who have to make a road trip to Fry’s because all the other stores just sell phones now. Have you ever tried to replace a fucked-up molex connector without having to order something online? It’s hell. They stock GRC products in a special section of the Gotham Department Store, I decided this just now while thinking about molex connectors and getting mad.
- Did you know RCA’s vacuum tubes were called Radiotron?? Why are all the names for things so shitty now when we used to name things stuff like Radiotron. This has nothing to do with anything, except I guess for the fact that GRC probably still manufactures weird vacuum tubes that would otherwise be impossible to find.
- GRC is a godsend for vintage radio enthusiasts.
- I’m not saying they picked their name based on the fact that a maelstrom is theoretically a more powerful whirlpool but also that’s exactly what I’m saying.
- These appliances will fuck you up and that’s a guarantee.
- They’re safe now but for a long time they had a reputation of being extremely powerful and dangerous.
- “If you forgot to empty your pockets the Maelstromatic washer would turn all your bills blank… those were the days.”
- Old people complain about how the new energy-efficient Maelstromatic appliances just aren’t as good as the ones that would trip the breaker most of the time and regularly burn their clothes.
GRC Labs (1938)
- Someone’s gotta make that weird shit!! This universe has superior grappling hook technology and they have GRC Labs to thank. I’m gonna say it was developed for the military to infiltrate Nazi castles? That seems plausible. They had a scientist thinking outside the box, and inside the grappling hook.
- So many supervillains…
- They’re on such high alert now but it’s really hard to tell a mad scientist from a regular scientist. You’d think it would be obvious but the guy who’s obsessed with jetpacks is just a regular ol’ nerd. He monologues about jetpacks on the reg but he’s never tried to rob a bank or become a jetpack cyborg. He just loves jetpacks. Meanwhile that guy with the robot cat for the elderly nearly killed like thirty people. Shit’s unpredictable.
Computronic Machines (1965)
It was the sixties and everyone was making computers.
The Computronic Program-o-Mat was deeply unpopular despite having what was clearly a better name than any other home computer ever made.
Nerds these days lust after original Program-o-Mat cases to put new computers inside them and then make them run Doom.
They make decent consumer tech now. Desktops, laptops, phones. Boring stuff.
Computronic Machine Programs (1972)
- They made decent niche technical software and that kept the whole division afloat quite frankly.
- They will never change their name. Never.
- Internet and cable service provider.
- Keeps getting sued by other ISPs for making their prices so low. It’s not fair!! They’re trying to put us out of business!! Wah!!!
- This was pretty much the first thing Bruce did when he became CEO because his internet at the mansion was garbage and he was mad about it.
- Spite: A Valid Way To Run A Business Since 1864
… i can’t think of anything else to add to this list. am i… am i done? am i free?13
- why did i do this
- someone please use this for something and retroactively justify me having done it lmfao
- thanks to esser-z on tumblr for reminding me this might exist
- when they were spitballing names the office goth suggested paypig and bruce had to both pretend not to know why that couldn’t be the name, and also resist the temptation to make that the name.
- he still sometimes wishes they’d named it paypig
- starting businesses out of spite is the only wayne tradition bruce maintains
- look up nbc on wikipedia or something and then have a stroke, jesus christ
- thanks to voxmyriad on tumblr for reminding me this might exist
- they got into publishing via their own semi-autobiographical pulp series of short stories about two Very Good Friends who were cowboys and men and manly men who did manly men things and talked a lot about the depth of their manly friendship, while also fighting cattle rustlers
- they brought back the cowboys and this time they kissed. what if thomas wrote it. what if thomas made his company publish his cowboy fanfiction where the cowboys finally get to kiss. how would they stop him. he published under his pen name… lefty mallone.
- the idea of bruce wayne owning a soap opera channel with lore-heavy original content is just so fucking funny to me. the worldbuilding. the backstories. the drama. the wikis go so hard and so deep. screenshots from the wikis regularly go viral because it seems so fake. i love this idea i don’t even know why.
- can you IMAGINE the sawbones episode. do you think justin would issue a callout for bruce wayne for his weird shitty ancestors. god. bruce emails in like ‘yeah that’s fair’. justin has a fucking stroke.
- god i definitely forgot things but who even cares i’m dying