100 years of Eureka Vacuum Cleaners

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Published: 23rd September 2009
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You may be aware that "Eureka" is among the most famous names when it comes to vacuum cleaners. But did you know that over the 100 year history of the Eureka vacuum cleaner company they have made a lot more then vacuums. This article is a glimpse into the past and present of the Eureka Company.

The Eureka Company was founded in 1909 by Fred Waddell in Detroit, Michigan, just two years after one of their biggest competitors started, the Hoover Company started. By 1913 the Eureka Company was making 6 different vacuum models with their own special attachments. The Vacuums they produced were similar to the upright vacuum cleaners we use today.

Not soon after, Eureka was awarded the Grand Prize at the San Francisco International Exploits. This award was the first of many awards the Eureka vacuum cleaner company has received. Word spreads; by 1919 the Eureka Company is working at the productivity level of 2,000 vacuums a day. By 1927 Eureka is selling one third of all the vacuum cleaners being made in America. With all their success the Eureka Company branches out 1930 and makes kitchen stoves.

The 1940s brought on many changes within Eureka. With the dawn of World War II, Eureka diverts their attentions to the time and state of the US at war. In 1941 production of Vacuum cleaners is put on standstill and by 1942 the production of gas mask and other products to support the war effort. Three years later in 1945, the Eureka vacuum cleaner company merges with Williams Oil-O-Matic. Their work to support the war efforts does not go unnoticed; they receive the "E" award from the Navy. In 1949 Eureka-Williams unveiled their latest venture, the wooden lung. The wooden lung much like the later iron lung was used in the treatment of patients with infantile paralysis and polio.

In 1960 the Eureka-Williams Empire expands their efforts and company when they have yet another company merger, this time with the National Union Electric Corporation. Along with the merger came more manufacturing territory to expand upon, throughout the 1960s production in the Eureka-Williams company is responsible for a battery-operated automobile called the Hennery Kilowatt in 1961, and the thermal battery which was developed for NASA.

Over the next two decades, the company goes through a series of changes. In 1971 the company is purchased by the Electrolux Company of Sweden. The company also has another name change when they go from "The Eureka-Williams Company" to "The Eureka Company". Under the umbrella of the Electrolux Company, The Company seems to be much more focused on the production of vacuum cleaners more so then anything else. In 1981 the company opens a plant for the manufacturing of parts in Juarez, Mexico. In 83' they open another manufacturing plant in El Paso, Texas.

With the exception of an expansion in 1997 of the manufacturing plants in Texas, things stay pretty much "business as usual" for Eureka for a while. However, in 2004 they undergo their most recent name change; they are now known as "Electrolux Home Care Products North America".

Despite their many advances in other fields, the Eureka Company will always be foremost recognized for their vacuum cleaners. In 2009 Eureka celebrated its 100 year company anniversary. They continue to design and manufacture some of the top selling vacuum cleaners in the industry.

Eureka Vacuums and Eureka Vacuum Cleaners

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