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MAYTAG

Maytag, a well-known and flourishing company since the late 1800s, in April 2006 was purchased by Whirlpool Corporation.

Maytag products were sold under the brand names of Maytag, Amana, Hoover, Magic Chef and Jenn-Air. One of the segments of the corporation namely Maytag Home Appliance unit was specialized in the manufacturing of washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, cooktops, freezers, wall ovens, irons, microwaves, dishwashers, disposers, water heaters, central heating and cooling systems having provided 95% of the company’s sales. Now Maytag will go on operating as a brand of Whirlpool.

The history of Maytag started in 1893 in Newton, Iowa. Frederick Louis Maytag with three partners organized a farm implement company having invested for a start US$2,400 in total. They manufactured threshing machines, self-feeder attachments, band cutters, corn huskers. In 1907 Maytag bought out his partners’ shares and decided to expand the range of products. He considered the idea to develop a home washing machine that would ease a hard work of rural women who washed clothes by hand using only a corrugated washboard. There were home washing machines on the market at the time but Maytag wanted to improve them and invent a more productive apparatus.

In 1907 a washing machine called Pastime was made. It was a simple, easy in use device. During washing it was needed only to rotate a handle that was outside the machine and with the help of which the clothes was compelled through the water against the corrugated walls. At the first onset a washing machine became a hit product.

As a leader of the company Frederick Maytag made investments into the development and improvement of his products so as to satisfy the needs and wishes of his customers. Novelties have been introduced almost daily. After a mechanical washing machine release in 1911 the company offered the first washing machine with an electric motor, in 1914 –washing machines with an internal combustion engine for those regions which had no access to electricity. In 1919 Maytag brought out the first washing machine with an aluminum tub instead of a wooden one. This innovation has considerably increased durability of the appliance.

Maytag invention of 1920 brought his company a great success. The invention was an agitator - a unique appliance providing the water acceleration in the machine in such a way, that the water passed through the tissue structure, freeing it from dirt. It was the first washing machine, that cleaned clothes with only water without friction. An agitator was at the bottom of the tub and not on the top. So washing machines with an agitator were developed in the first decades of the 20th century. Maytag sales pushed his company to the first place among US washing machine producers.

During the Second World War Maytag company produced engines and other mechanisms for American military aircrafts. And at same time leaders of the company were considering the plans to increase the production and expand the product range for the near future after the war.

In 1949 a new Maytag plant was opened in Newton with specialization on the production of automatic washing machines and later of dryers which were used in dry cleaners and washing houses. Maytag introduced plastic tokens with which anybody could make payment for the usage of appliances. In such a way commercial self-service laundries and dry cleaners appeared in the USA.

In 1946, the company started to produce refrigerators. While developing a marketing strategy, the company has put emphasis on such segments of the market as restaurants, food industry, hotels, where it was necessary to supply a lot of refrigeration units. In the 1980s Maytag corporation acquired world famous companies such as Amana (production of washing machines and refrigerators), Jade (gas stoves), Jenn-Air (a variety of home appliances), Hoover (cleaning systems and vacuum cleaners).

Frederick Louis Maytag (1857-1937), the founder of Maytag company, started his business in a small town of Newton, Iowa in 1893, and not long after he began making the product that made Newton the center of the best home appliances in America. Frederick Maytag donated a 40-acre park and a swimming pool to Newton. They were named Maytag Park and Maytag Pool. He also built hundreds of houses for his workers. Warmly and sincerely the Newton people called Frederick Louis Maytag as F.L.