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A Brief History of Whirlpool

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A Brief History of Whirlpool

Whirlpool, Inc. is an American manufacturer which plays a key role in the home appliance market. The group has eight major facilities for manufacturing, located in Iowa, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Ohio. However, this corporation wasn’t always the giant that it is today. Founded by Louis Upton on November 11th, 1911, the company’s first product originated as a manual clothing washer; Upton approached the Emory group with a $5,000 investment and an idea: to add an electric motor to the contraption in an effort to increase convenience for the consumer. This simple idea sprouted like a seed and turned into the huge corporation that we know today.

The first major break for Whirlpool was when the Federal Electric division of Commonwealth Edison ordered 100 units of their original machine. This order ended up being recalled for repair, and Commonwealth ended up doubling the order. This group remained a loyal customer of Whirlpool for three years until the company began producing their own washers (eerily similar to Whirlpool’s). It was around this time that they began expanding sales under the guidance of distributer Sears; business boomed and Upton ended up being made the sole washer supplier.

Between 1920 and 1947, despite the Great Depression era, Upton’s business grew fairly steadily, now assuming a number of different product lines and brand names, including “Kenmore” and “Allen.” Finally in 1949, a rich and successful Upton retired as president of the company and was replaced by Elisha Gray II.

Gray began making significant reforms within the company in an attempt to drum up even more business and acquire a larger market share with the kitchen utility industry. This began with the acquisition of Seeger brand refrigerators as well as RCA’s cooking ranges and air conditioning systems. Another major company break happened in 1962 when NASA approached Whirlpool Inc. to create a successful waste management system for space crafts. Many more company purchases and smart business decisions are what landed Whirlpool the massive portion of market share which it currently possesses, and the $2 billion in annual revenue that it was already seeing by 1962. In 1988, Whirlpool International was born with the majority purchase of Philips N.V.’s large appliance division; this was what made our company the largest manufacturer of large appliances in the world.

From then until the present day, this group has continued to purchase stakes in competing companies and take part in joint ventures; they are still growing rapidly and providing the world with quality appliances.