Siblings Richard and Maurice McDonald opened the first McDonald's at 1398 North E Street at West 14th Street in San Bernardino, California on May 15, 1940, but it was not the McDonald's recognizable today; Ray Kroc made changes to the brothers' business to modernize it. The brothers introduced the "Speedee Service System" in 1948, putting into expanded use the principles of the modern fast-food restaurant that their predecessor White Castle had put into practice more than two decades earlier.
The original mascot of McDonald's was a chef hat on top of a hamburger who was referred to as "Speedee". In 1962, the Golden Arches replaced Speedee as the universal mascot. The mascot, clown Ronald McDonald, was introduced in 1965. He appeared in advertising to target their audience of children.
On May 4, 1961, McDonald's first filed for a U.S. trademark on the name "McDonald's" with the description "Drive-In Restaurant Services", which continues to be renewed. By September 13, McDonald's, under the guidance of Ray Kroc, filed for a trademark on a new logo—an overlapping, double-arched "M" symbol. But before the double arches, McDonald's used a single arch for the architecture of their buildings. Although the "Golden Arches" logo appeared in various forms, the present version was not used until November 18, 1968, when the company was favored a U.S. trademark.
The present corporation credits its founding to franchised businessman Ray Kroc on April 15, 1955. This was in fact the ninth opened McDonald's restaurant overall, although this location was destroyed and rebuilt in 1984. Kroc purchased the McDonald brothers' equity in the company and began the company's worldwide reach. Kroc was recorded as being an aggressive business partner, driving the McDonald brothers out of the industry.
Kroc and the McDonald brothers fought for control of the business, as documented in Kroc's autobiography. The San Bernardino restaurant was eventually torn down in 1971, and the site was sold to the Juan Pollo chain in 1976. This area serves as headquarters for the Juan Pollo chain, and a McDonald's and Route 66 museum.