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Whirlpool: 110 years of improving life at home

Whirlpool Corporation is celebrating its 110 year anniversary this month! To mark the occasion, the company will be reflecting on its significant history of innovation and collaboration throughout the decades.

Upton Machine Company, founded in 1911 by Lou and Emory Upton in Benton Harbour, Michigan, USA, began producing electric, motor-driven wringer washers. By 1929, increased demand led the company to merge with the Nineteen Hundred Washer Company, becoming the Nineteen Hundred Corporation and beginning mass production of home appliances.

The Second World War saw the company shift operations to support the war effort, using its factories to create components for aircrafts and military equipment. By the summer of 1945, appliance production resumed, and the company witnessed significant growth in the subsequent years. By 1950, the Whirlpool brand name had gained recognition and the Nineteen Hundred Corporation was officially renamed Whirlpool Corporation. The company’s portfolio expanded into microwave ovens and refrigerators.

A series of acquisitions took place in the coming years, including the KitchenAid brand, in addition to Hotpoint, Indesit, Maytag and Amana.

Today, Whirlpool Corporation employs over 78,000 people worldwide and it continues to demonstrate the same principles that it was founded upon, displaying a strong commitment to caring for customers, communities, colleagues and the planet.

The company has 14 sites across the UK, including its head office in Peterborough, a manufacturing site in Yate and a training centre in Manchester.

When it comes to social and environmental initiatives, Whirlpool Corporation has been a leader in the marketplace. For example, in 2003, the company became the world’s first appliance manufacturer to set a global greenhouse gas reduction target, pursuing an additional three per cent reduction in emissions by 2008. And in 2021, it announced a global commitment to reach a net zero emissions target in its plants and operations by 2030, across its manufacturing sites and large distribution centres across the world.

Ian Moverley, Public Affairs Director, Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited, said that while the company has evolved over the years to adapt to global challenges, drive technological advances and meet and the changing needs of our customers, its mission to improve life at home has remained at the heart of everything…

“So too has our commitment to build greater relationships with our customers, develop the talent within our business and establish deeper ties with our communities.

“We look forward to using our 110 year anniversary as an opportunity to remember our diverse history, reinforce our core values and recognise our employees, not only to celebrate our accomplishments and how far we have come, but to look towards the future and appreciate how much more we can achieve.”

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