History of the creation of Electrolux –
a Swedish manufacturer of household appliances

Electrolux today is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household and professional appliances.

We apply professional innovation to every model we use at home. That is why our customers always receive modern and technologically advanced household and climatic equipment.

The current Electrolux product portfolio includes a large assortment of appliances: ovens, hobs, hoods, refrigerators, chest freezers, wine cabinets, stoves, dishwashers and washing machines, vacuum cleaners, small household appliances, household and professional air conditioning systems, heating appliances, water heaters, warm floors and electric fireplaces.

The starting point for Electrolux was the market launch of its first vacuum cleaner, absorption refrigerator and marketing genius Axel Wenner-Gren's appearance in the company. There is a legend that Axel Wenner-Gren saw a bulky vacuum cleaner from the American company Santo in Vienna and got a job in this enterprise. Having gained a sufficient amount of knowledge, he returned home to Stockholm, and, refining his idea with the help of colleagues and assistants, in 1912 he introduced Lux 1 on the market — one of the world's first household vacuum cleaner.


Stockholm-based AB Lux launches the Lux kerosene lamp, which is a huge success in its home country and is used in lighthouses around the world. However, the development of electricity makes the company feel intense competition, and AB Lux begins to develop new generation products.


In 1912, the partnership between Lux and Axel Wenner-Gren began, which played a huge role in the successful development of the business. The company launches its first vacuum cleaner, Lux 1, on the market, weighing 14 kg. It was this old vacuum cleaner that gave impetus to the development and popularity of the company.

The successful sale of household vacuum cleaners begins in Sweden. In 1917, Elektron company, in which Axel Wenner-Gren was a major co-owner, buys all the shares of Elektromekaniska, founded in 1910. A string of capital mergers allows Lux to increase its equity capital and market influence.

In 1919, the company AB Electrolux was registered, the country of origin is Sweden. The name AB Electrolux consisted of a combination of the company names Elektromekaniska and Lux.


The ideological basis for Wenner-Gren's success was the idea that business should change in accordance with the needs of customers. Thus, in 1921, Wenner-Gren himself proposed to the developers an innovation in the device of vacuum cleaners, saying: “We need to put the vacuum cleaner on runners made of thick wire. Those who are not strong enough to carry the vacuum cleaner will be able to carry it." The design of the vacuum cleaner turned out to be so successful that it was used for about fifty more years, and not only by Electrolux. Thus, we can say that Sweden is a country that became one of the first innovators in the field of household appliances production.

A year later, Swedish engineering students Baltzar von Platen and Karl Munters present a sensational discovery – a machine that, working from a power source, produces cold. Axel Wenner-Gren believes in invention and invests his own money in the idea. The newly formed company AB Arctic begins the production of refrigerators. At the same time, a similar design of the refrigerator was developed and patented by Albert Einstein. To avoid a licensing dispute, Axel Wenner-Gren buys a patent for Einstein's refrigerator. However, the design of Munters and von Platen turned out to be more successful and in the end it was was implemented in the production of the company's refrigerators.


In 1930, Electrolux launched the first built-in compact refrigerator to meet the demands of the times. A year later, the company produces and introduces the first air-cooled refrigerator. Electrolux was one of the first companies in the world to pay attention to the appearance of their appliances. Old Electrolux refrigerators, of course, differ in their design from modern series, but they laid the foundation for the corporate identity of Electrolux household appliances.

In 1937, the company launched the first streamlined vacuum cleaner in the United States, designed by Lurell Guild. In 1938, the European version of Z30 vacuum cleaner was released and became one of Electrolux's bestsellers. This old model of the Electrolux vacuum cleaner also became the foundation for the design of subsequent product lines.

The company continued to work on the appearance and ergonomics of the manufactured equipment. For example, industrial design master Raymond Lowy was hired to design refrigerators. As a result, the L300 series of refrigerators was developed, which for the first time were equipped with glass shelves and lighting inside, and the peculiar Swedish style began to be perceived as an integral part of Electrolux products.

“The unique design was a significant competitive advantage at the time”, says Electrolux historian David Leidenborg.


The country of origin faced external difficulties, since World War II paralyzed many Electrolux factories.

The company reorganizes part of its production to provide jobs and, like many other enterprises in the country, begins to manufacture products for the needs of the Swedish army. At the same time, the production of vacuum cleaners begins far from Europe, in New Zealand.

Despite the war, Elektrolux introduced a completely new product in 1940 — kitchen assistant, designed by Alvar Lenning.

In 1941, the Archimedes company was bought, which allowed Elektrolux to establish itself in a new market for outboard motors.

Three years later, while continuing to grow, the company acquires Bohus Mekaniska Verkstads AB in Gothenburg. Thus, the Group becomes a player in another important new market — manufacture of industrial laundry equipment.

Active production of vacuum cleaners and refrigerators is resumed in post-war Germany.


Electrolux develops the Latin American market and begins the production of vacuum cleaners and floor polishers in the Brazilian city of São Paulo, and later - production of floor polishers and refrigerators in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In 1951, Elektrolux introduced its first and oldest model of a household washing machine, a 20 W "floating wing" or "double wing", which was manufactured in the Gothenburg plant. Since then, Electrolux has started manufacturing washing machines for the home and entered a new market. And the oldest model served as a model for the development and implementation of new technologies.

The most important focus for Elektrolux in the 1950s was the production of food storage equipment. The market for refrigerators grew rapidly, thanks to the use of a compressor, devices became more and more economical. The transition to the new market was completed with the launch of refrigerators with freezers and additional compartments.

The increasingly fast growing freezer industry created a demand for freezers and Elektrolux introduced its first City Box in 1956.

The first dishwasher from Elektrolux is becoming extremely popular. In addition to the old models of refrigerators, the first freezer unit is being produced in Sweden.

The spelling of the name of the Elektrolux group of companies is changed to the English name Electrolux.

This is a testament to the company's great international ambitions. Electrolux begins to successfully export trailer refrigerators to the US, but the real breakthrough will come in the 1960s.


Electrolux acquires ElektroHelios for 36 million SEK. Thanks to this merger, the company gains new facilities for the production of compressors and catering equipment. In addition, the company begins production of another group of products — kitchen equipment.

In 1964, a new model of the Luxomatic vacuum cleaner was launched — the first of a new generation of vacuum cleaners with such innovative functions as: cord rewinder, self-sealing paper dust bags and a bag full indicator. It has become a symbol of the strength and economic power of the Electrolux Group and vacuum cleaners department.

Thanks to lucrative financial deals, Electrolux has an excellent opportunity to expand further into the US market. The first Electrolux refrigerator subsidiary in the United States opens. Electrolux Group's turnover exceeded one billion Swedish kronor.


Between 1970 and 1979, Electrolux buys 59 companies. Electrolux continues to focus on design. The company abandons monochrome white appliances and begins production of multi-colored appliances, keeping up with the fashion of the time. With the purchase of National Union Electric/Eureka, Electrolux becomes the world leader in vacuum cleaners. The company cares about preserving the environment: it produces cleaning systems for transport and water supply. With the acquisition of Husqvarna, a completely new product line is added to the portfolio – gardening products. Electrolux enters the US home appliance market.


Electrolux makes an important purchase by acquiring the metallurgical conglomerate Gränges, which owns mines, steel and copper smelters. The company's turnover is almost 23 billion SEK.

The Electrolux home appliance sector continues to expand through acquisitions in the UK, acquisitions of the Spanish market leaders and the addition of the manufacturer to its range of washing machines. Electrolux's leading position in Europe is strengthened by significant growth in the Spanish market and the acquisition of a manufacturer and distributor of electrical home and restaurant equipment and industrial washing machines in Germany.

In 1989, an agreement was signed with Sharp Corporation for the sale of Electrolux household appliances in the Japanese market.

The company continues to care for the environment — strengthening its position in the sectors of equipment for cleaning and disinfection.


The Electrolux outdoor range expands with the purchase of the American garden tool manufacturer Allegretti & Co. "Low energy consumption refrigerator" enters the market, cutting energy consumption in half. Electrolux acquires 10% of AEG's home appliances division. Refrigerators appear on the market that completely eliminate the use of freon. In 1999, Electrolux Corporation celebrates its 75th anniversary. In order to achieve increased profits, the company embarks on a two-year restructuring program, abandoning many areas of business. A new brand portfolio is approved with a focus on a small number of large and vibrant brands. Electrolux forms a joint venture with Ericsson, a manufacturer of equipment and services for smart homes, to introduce the Screenfridge smart refrigerator concept.


Stable business development allows Electrolux to become one of the three best companies of the year according to Report Watch. The creation of the "Innovation Triangle" aims to establish close cooperation within the Electrolux Group such structures as marketing, new products and design. Electrolux launches the brand of professional kitchen equipment, Grand Cuisine, equipped with all possible innovative features developed by the company in collaboration with the best chefs in the world. Working with unique kitchen products continues with the Gourmet Range - Poggenpohl's super-exclusive collection of built-in kitchen appliances and the innovative Sous-vide steam and vacuum combination oven.

The history of the company is gaining momentum, keeping pace with the times, improving technologies and realizing bold ideas. Based on our Swedish values ​​and sustainable relationship with nature, we design with a clear goal. We are doing our best to preserve our planet for future generations. We not only create taste sensations, take care of clothes and maintain comfort in the house. We also help people live better so they can explore more.

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