Whirlpool appliances have been around for decades, and through the years, the company has become a household name interchangeable with “major appliance”. With products ranging from stoves and refrigerators to washers and dryers, Whirlpool has staked its claim in history as one of the largest household appliance providers in the industry.
The Whirlpool Corporation is the world’s largest producer of home appliances, having acquired the Maytag Company under its conglomerate heading in early 2006. The company employs around 68,000 people in 50 different locations and is headquartered in the United States out of Benton Harbor, Michigan. Shortly after the creation of the Maytag Company in 1907, Louis, Frederick, and Emory Upton formed the Upton Machine Company in 1911, concentrating on the washing machine as Maytag had. By 1916, the company was selling their machines branded as “Allen” for the Sears, Roebuck, & Company stores. In fact, this relationship has withstood the test of time, with Whirlpool still manufacturing the Kenmore brand for Sears Department Stores, including refrigerators and many other large appliances beyond the washing machine.
In 1929, Upton merged with the Nineteen Hundred Washer Company, which converted all plants to war manufacturers in 1942. In 1950, after World War II had passed, the Nineteen Hundred Corporation sold the first top-loading washing machine under the name brand of Whirlpool, and thus the popular brand was born. The Whirlpool Foundation was established a year later to take part in philanthropic and charitable activities. By 1957, the company was known for progressive, innovative ideas and products, especially the Whirlpool Miracle Kitchen, a trend that excited millions of viewers.
Notably, Whirlpool was contracted by NASA in 1962 to develop the feeding and waste systems for the Project Gemini, bringing the product even more to the forefront as the wave of the future. In 1967, this reliable brand introduced a 24-hour hotline, something that many companies would not do for years to come, further advertising themselves as the most reliable brand with the best available customer service in the major appliance industry.
By 1978, the Whirlpool Corporation was pulling in over $2 billion in annual revenue, leading them to want to expand their business further. In 1986, the corporation acquired KitchenAid, a former division of the Hobart Corporation, and a year later was international, selling compact washers in India. In 1989, the company again became ambitious, purchasing the Roper brand in the United States and the German company Bauknecht. Whirlpool is also the manufacturer behind the IKEA brand.
Having grown to include hundreds of major and other household and industrial appliances, it is no wonder that the Whirlpool Corporation is known as the largest appliance company in the industry. They are the parent company of several dozen appliance manufacturers, including many that were acquired through the recent purchase of the Maytag Company. Because of their excellent brands, terrific service, and ambitious business ventures, the company has branched out to have a share of almost every aspect of the cleaning and appliance industry there is and will continue to grow, expand, and profit in the future.