The people behind the name
Whirlpool was founded in a humble manner by a single family. In 1908, Lou Upton invested all his savings in a company that was manufacturing household equipment. When the business flopped, Upton took the patents on a hand-washing machine and left. He imagined that the machine could be made to work with electricity, thus saving people time and effort.
In 1911, Lou and his brother Fred and his uncle Emory joined forces to produce electric motor-driven ‘wringer washers’ as the Upton Machine Company.
In spite of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the company grew because its strong ethics attracted customers and investors. Whirlpool continues today on the principle that doing the right thing matters and that “there is no right way to do a wrong thing”.
It was the first appliance manufacturer to announce a global greenhouse gas reduction target. It releases 95% less toxic chemicals in the US now than it did in 1987, even though production has increased by 37%.
By 2014, Whirlpool was the world’s leading global manufacturer of home appliances, selling approximately $20 billion annually in over 170 countries world-wide.
Whirlpool’s refrigerator innovations
1955: Whirlpool merges with Seeger Refrigeration Company and begins innovating with Seeger’s existing line of refrigerator products.
1960: Whirlpool designs and builds the first space kitchen for astronauts to use on America’s experimental space station simulator. The kitchen had a mini fridge, freezer, oven, water heater, and storage spaces for wet and dry waste. Whirlpool went on to create the food management, waste management and personal hygiene systems used on NASA’s Gemini, Apollo and Skylab missions.
Other refrigerator brands we rated
Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to regularly survey 3,000 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a dishwasher in the last three years – in this case, 776 Australians.
The other refrigerator brands in this year’s survey are:
- Fisher & Paykel
You can view the refrigerator survey results here.