Appliance History: Who Makes What?

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Do you ever find yourself at the store wondering, “Who really makes this product?” We’re not talking about your everyday morning routine products, rather, the appliances you use to carry out your everyday routines. We’re talking about your refrigerator, your range/oven, your washer and dryer, all of the important pieces of your household.

There are actually only a few major appliance manufacturers left in the marketplace. To expand their horizons, these top manufacturer have bought out smaller manufacturers and merged those products line into their own. The only difference between these brands is in their appearance, while the main components are similar, if not the same. 

The easiest way to explain which companies own what would be to start from the bottom and work our way up. Let’s get started.

Electrolux founded in 1919

  • 1980s (early): Kelvinator joined White Consolidated Industries, a company that also acquired right to Frigidaire, Gibson, Tappan, and White-Westinghouse. 
  • 1986: AB Electrolux of Sweden purchased Frigidaire, the American consumer and commercial home appliances brand.
  • 1986: Electrolux acquired White Consolidated Industries and all right to brand ownership.
  • 2006: Electrolux began making White-Westinghouse branded appliances.

Maytag founded in 1893

  • 1981: Hardwick Stove Company was Maytag’s first purchase to start their expansion
  • 1982: Maytag purchased JennAir Corporation who was the leading manufacturer of indoor electric grills with stove-top vent systems
  • 1986: Moving toward becoming a full-line producer, Maytag purchased the Magic Chef group of companies such as Admiral and Norge.
  • Maytag manufacturers some Crosley appliance products.
  • 2001: Maytag acquires the Amana Corporation and all of its acquired brands including Caloric, Modern Maid, Glenwood, and Sunray. 

Now, pay close attention!

Whirlpool founded in 1911

  • 1952: Whirlpool bought the Estate Stove Company from RCA
  • 1972: Inglis began manufacturing and selling laundry appliances under the Whirlpool brand name. Inglis Limited officially changed its name to Whirlpool Canada in 2001.
  •  1986: Whirlpool purchased KitchenAid to expand their countertop appliance tradition
  • 1989: Whirlpool secured the right to the Roper brand name for major appliances
  • 2006: Whirlpool completed its acquisition of the Maytag Corporation.

So, after acquiring the Maytag Corporation, Whirlpool gained all brand administration, including the brands listed above. Yes, that means that if you own a Jenn-Air or Magic Chef appliance, it is manufactured under the Whirlpool brand name. The appliances may look different on the outside, but the parts that make them function are virtually the same.

General Electric founded in 1892

  • 1918: The Hotpoint Electric Heating Company merged with General Electric, later becoming the Edison General Electric Company in 1931. 
  • 1985: General Electric took over the Radio Corporation of America, better known as RCA. The companies shortly split up the following year.

Haier founded in 1984

  • 2016: General Electric  agreed to sell its appliance unit to the Chinese manufacturer Haier Group. Haier has the rights to use the GE brand for appliances for the next 40 years.

We hope this blog was informative as well as interesting. Now when it comes time to purchasing a new appliance, or shopping for replacement parts, you have a better understanding of which company ultimately makes the appliance or part.

If your appliance is in need of repairs, check out our Repair Help Page that offers a wide variety of troubleshooting tips & videos!


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