Frigidaire is the Electrolux Group’s largest brand in North America. It has an equally long and impressive 100-year history, with notable first-ever inventions, including the first home refrigerator and freezer, as well as the first room air conditioner.
The Frigidaire Company was founded as the Guardian Frigerator Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA. In 1918, William C. Durant, a General Motors executive, invested in the company and in 1919, it took the name Frigidaire. The brand was so well known in the early 20th century that many Americans called any refrigerator, regardless of the brand, a ”Frigidaire.”
Frigidaire continued to introduce legendary innovations to the American consumer, launching new product lines every couple of years. In 1921, the company introduced metal linings made of hydrolene, which provided notably better insulation and more efficient refrigeration. In 1924, it started adding more cubbies within the appliances, such as ice cream cabinets and drawers. In 1926, the refrigerator design was changed to the more familiar all-steel style for which Frigidaire is known today and shortly after the company introduced porcelain-on-steel. A milestone was hit in 1929 when Frigidaire sold its one-millionth fridge.
Browse Frigidaire ads through the decades.
In 1937, refrigerators began including fancier components, such as ice dispensers and humidified drawers for produce. It was around this time that the company decided to expand its product offering to include ranges, air conditioners, and laundry products.
General Motors had majority ownership in the company from 1919 to 1979 when the Ohio-based company was acquired by White Consolidated Industries, which was then purchased by Electrolux in 1986. White Consolidated Industries, which had originally begun as a sewing machine manufacturer in 1858, also owned the Kelvinator and Westinghouse brands, which are still a part of the Electrolux Group.
Today, Frigidaire retains a strong presence in North America. More recently, the brand introduced the industry’s first SmudgeProof? black stainless steel suite of appliances and the first glass door refrigerator. Frigidaire is a household brand and continues to innovate, just as it did 100 years ago.