Powell-Peralta, now known simply as Powell, was the biggest and most influential skateboarding company of the 80's, when skating really took off. They helped develop most of the industry standards that there are today.
George Powell started it all. He had been skating since the 50's (that's a loooong time), and after working for an aerospace company in the 70's, he decided to improve upon the existing urethane wheels that skaters used then. His company, Bones, was a hit and took off immediately.
Now Powell had the product, but what he needed to really make a splash was a showman. This he found in a young champion named Stacy Peralta. With his partnership, they hand-picked the Bones Brigade and advanced skateboarding in leaps and bounds. Just about every influential skater in the 80's rode for them, including Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, Alan Gelfand, and a kid named Tony Hawk.
Powell-Peralta wasn't just a wheel innovator though. They also put the first kicktail ever on a production board. Perhaps the idea they are best known for, however, is the skull and crossbone graphic. Enough said.
In the early 90's, the company started taking some hits when they tried to push a new product called bone-ite. What it did was make the board lighter, and able to splinter if you landed on it wrong. Not exactly a big selling point. They nearly went out of business because of this, and lost most of their skaters, including Stacy Peralta.
Today, Powell still makes boards and wheels (still under the Bones brand name) and even has one of the original members of the Bones Brigade, Steve Caballero, still on the team.