*The man above is a sales associate and not one of the owners of the company.

Gateway Computers. The hugely successful company that sold computers in a white box with black cow prints started in Iowa in the 1980s. Like so many others, my first computer was a Gateway. Here's what became of the trailblazing company.

After meeting while working in a Des Moines computer store in 1984, Ted Waitt and Mike Hammond started a mail-order business for computers the following year. They named it TIPC Network. Before 1985 ended, their new company already had more than $100,000 in sales. It was only the beginning.

In early 1986, Waitt's brother Norman was hired as the company's financial advisor. When the year came to a close, revenue had reached $1 million and the company name had been changed to Gateway 2000.

In 1988, Gateway 2000 moved its headquarters from a two-story house on the ranch of Ted Waitt's father outside Sioux City, Iowa, to a building in the city's downtown. By the end of the year, Gateway 2000's revenue had reached $12 million. Sales skyrocketed to more than $70 million the following year.

Due to taxes, Gateway 2000 relocated to Sioux City, South Dakota in early 1990, and the company continued to soar. Sales hit $275 million that year. Two years later, they hit $1.1 billion. In 1993, the company went public and by 1997, revenue had climbed to $6.29 billion.

1997 was also the year Compaq Computer Corporation was set to purchase Gateway 2000 for $7 billion. Waitt killed the deal. It would end up being a huge financial mistake.

Also in 1997, Gateway 2000 Country Stores began to appear. Within six years, there were over 300 of them in the U.S.

Concerned about '2000' making them dated, Gateway 2000 dropped the year from its name and by the middle of 1999, it was known as Gateway Inc.

Gateway Reports Fourth Quarter Loss
Getty Images

Acquisitions, price wars with Dell, multiple restructurings, and other issues would follow before Gateway Inc. was acquired by Acer Inc. in 2007. The purchase price was $710 million. So Gateway computers are a thing of the past, right? They were for a number of years, but they're back.

Just over three years ago, Acer brought back Gateway computers. They're available exclusively through Walmart. Prices range from under $400 to more than $2,000.

KEEP LOOKING: See what 50 company logos looked like then and now


QUIZ: Can you identify 50 famous companies by their logos?

How well do you know the logos of 50 of the world's most famous companies? Keep scrolling to see if you can guess which icon belongs to which brand.

LOOK: 50 Famous brands that no longer exist

Stacker compiled a list of more than four dozen famous consumer brands that no longer exist, consulting sites such as TheStreet, Good Housekeeping, and Eat This, Not That!, along with numerous throwback sites dedicated to consumer brands.

Gallery Credit: Liz Barrett Foster

More From AM 1490 WDBQ