Appliance companies come and go and frankly we don’t usually think about them much. But one company has been around for 100 years and is still creating great products.
That company is Kitchen Aid. It’s hard to believe an appliance giant was started with a simple stand mixer, but that indeed is the case. Kitchen Aid originally started solely as a brand name for Hobart Manufacturing Company’s electric stand mixer back in the 1900s. The story goes that a Hobart executive brought home one of the mixers and mentioned they were trying to come up with a name for it. The wife said it was the “best kitchen aid” she had ever seen and so she didn’t care what name they came up with. A brand name was born. (It’s odd to think that there was a time that a stand mixer was a new thing, isn’t it?)
It certainly must have been the best kitchen aid many had seen because the mixer became the most popular brand during the 1920s and 1930s. Part of the reason it became so popular is they were sold door to door. Housewives could see how they work and how their lives would be so much easier by using them. There were also house parties, similar to product parties used by many companies today: Women would get together to see the interesting new work saver the Kitchen Aid man had. It was a great new way for housewifes to socialize.
Soon the Kitchen Aid brand expanded to include other products, each intended to help with kitchen tasks. Soon Hobart even bought the Crescent Company, a dishwasher manufacturer founded by Josephine Cochrane, the woman who introduced the dishwasher at the 1880 World’s Fair. The device was an instant hit and Hobart realized how much the dishwasher would add to its company’s product line. Naturally, dishwashers could not be sold door-to-door and dishwasher parties were out of the question but the product spoke for itself.
Over time, Hobart and Kitchen Aid developed a great following and other companies were attracted. The company grew through the years, adding products and changing styles as its customers demanded.
The company’s success and many other companies wanted to be a part of it. In 1985, the Whirlpool Company proposed a merger with Hobart. That two such reputable firms with solid histories made a great team is evidenced by the line of stoves, refrigerators, washers, dryers and other large appliances they have produced since 1987.
Kitchen Aid is today one of the most famous makers of large home appliances and smaller table-top units, including even the electric stand mixer the company started with.These products can be found in stores nationwide. The company is known for its quality products and for standing behind them.