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Company History

The founders of Kelvinator were among the very first to introduce electric refrigeration to the United States.  In 1914, engineer Nathaniel Wales introduced his idea for a practical electric refrigeration unit for the home to Edmund Copeland and Arnold Goss.   With their help, Wales built and distributed his refrigerating mechanism with great success.  Two years later, they changed their company name to Kelvinator in honor of the brilliant British physicist, Lord Kelvin.

Since that time, Kelvinator has been credited with introducing many ”firsts” and has experienced numerous changes as well..


1925: Kelvinator introduces the industry’s first self-contained refrigeration unit with cooling system, compressor and condenser in one cabinet.

1926: Kelvinator establishes international branches in the United Kingdom and Canada.

1931:  The international branches of the Kelvinator Company are so successful that during this year more products are sold in the international branches than in the United States.

1934: Kelvinator introduced the world’s first two-door household refrigerator.

1936: Room air conditioners are added to the line.

1937: Kelvinator is purchased by the Nash Company, an automotive manufacturer.

1939: Kelvinator introduced the first across-the-top freezer on a refrigerator.

1947: Kelvinator introduced the first two-door refrigerator with two separate cold zones.

1952: Nash merges with Studebaker to form the American Motors Corporation(AMC).  Kelvinator remains a part of AMC.

1954: Electric range with disposable oven liner introduced.

1955: Kelvinator introduced the first side-by-side refrigerator, called the Foodarama.

1960: Kelvinator introduced the first all foamed-in-place refrigerator.

1965: Kelvinator introduced the first uniquely designed refrigerators for the kitchen and recreation room, called the “Kelvinator Originals”.

1966: Illuminated visual ice cream cabinet introduced.

1968: Self-cleaning electric range introduced, with automatic lock on oven door.

The Kelvinator Company is sold by AMC to White Consolidated Industries(WCI).

1970:  Electric range with automatic basting introduced.

1986: WCI is purchased by A.B. Electrolux of Sweden.

1987: Kelvinator International relocates to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

1996: All U.S. Manufacturing facilities are ISO 9000-certified.

1999: Kelvinator’s freezer factory still produces 70 percent of freezers manufactured in
the U.S.

2001: Kelvinator introduced Home Smart Refrigerators, a totally re-designed and     engineered line of refrigerators.

2004: Kelvinator introduced a line of 60cm deep Built-in Refrigerators. Also, the BIG FAMILY Pair was introduced. An All Refrigerator and Up-right Freezer paired together for 946 liters of storage capacity.

2005: All U.S. Manufacturing facilities are ISO 14001-certified.

2006: Kelvinator introduced a 390 liter Frost Free Chest Freezer.

2007: Kelvinator introduced a complete line of built-in kitchen appliances.

2008: Kelvinator introduced a complete line of light commercial air conditioners.

2009: Kelvinator introduced an international front loader washer.

2011: Kelvinator introduced a family-sized French door bottom mount refrigerator.

2013: Kelvinator introduces high-efficiency laundry models including washers, dryers and a laundry center.