History & Heritage

It’s more than a century of rich history that empowers us to change the future

Year

1911

First electric wringer clothes washes

With the help of their business partner Lowell Bassford, Louis Upton and his uncle Emory started the Upton Machine Company in Benton Harbor, MI. They pioneered electric motor-driven wringer washing machines in 1911, which laid the successful foundation of the Whirlpool Corporation.

Year

1949

Whirlpool’s first auto washer and dryer pair

In the summer of 1945, Whirlpool began producing washers again. This began a period of explosive growth that would take Whirlpool from a small manufacturer of washers and ironers to a large manufacturer of a full line of major home appliances, including the first fully-automatic washer and electric dryer.

Year

1956

Consul® Refrigerator

First full line of RCA-Whirlpool® brand home appliances is introduced to distributors. The line covers 12 types of appliances available in 150 models. Consul introduces its first electric refrigerator using a new compressor system.

Year

1960

First space kitchen developed for the U.S. Government

With a contract from the U.S. government in 1960, Whirlpool Corporation engineers took on zero gravity living. The kitchen included a miniature thermoelectric refrigerator, freezer, three-cavity oven, self-heated water system, storage space for food and disposal units. It was used in all of NASA’s Gemini, Apollo and Skylab missions.

Year

1967

1st Countertop microwave oven

Amana brand introduces the first countertop, domestic 150-volt microwave oven, which costs just under $500 and is smaller, safer and more reliable than previous models. The market expands, cooking becomes easier and the Amana Radarange becomes the dominant player in the home microwave oven business.

Year

1986

KitchenAid

In February 1986 KitchenAid was acquired by the Whirlpool Corporation. The traditional KitchenAid stand mixer sold in record numbers in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the major appliance line reportedly has experienced double digit annual growth since its debut.

Year

1989

Whirlpool acquired the Roper brand and Bauknecht of Germany

Whirlpool Corporation and N.V. Philips of the Netherlands form joint venture company, Whirlpool Europe B.V. Via majority stake in Philips’ appliance business in Europe, the move brings new brands into the fold (Inglis®, Ignis®, Bauknecht®, Philips®).

Year

1998

First energy/water-efficient top load washer

Whirlpool brand has never shied away from consumer needs even when it meant redesigning an entire product. In 1998, to get ahead of a market trending toward sustainability, Whirlpool brand designed the first washer to exceed expectations in performance and resource savings.

Year

2008

First top load laundry pair with a steam cycle

Consumer trends revealed that not all laundry items needed a full wash cycle. In 2008, Maytag brand seized the opportunity to innovate a new way to enhance the laundry room experience by refreshing clothes with steam. This technology also relaxes wrinkles and reduces odors, and has become an industry staple.

Year

2014

Whirlpool Corporation acquired Indesit

In 2014 Whirlpool Corporation acquired Indesit, the italian major domestic-appliances manufacturer. Indesit Company has eight industrial sites in Italy, Poland, UK, Russia and Turkey. Group’s main brands are Indesit, Hotpoint and Scholtès.

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