Kenmore has long been known as one of America’s top selling appliance brands. The company got its start in the early 1900s marketing sewing machines and later went on to manufacture washing machines, vacuum cleaners, stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators, and more. Read on to learn more about this remarkable brand’s history.
The History of Kenmore – A Trusted & Reliable Brand
Today, one in three homes in the United States has at least one Kenmore appliance present. When you take a look at the company’s rich history and the many firsts that they were able to bring to the appliance industry, it is easy to see why Kenmore is America’s favorite home appliance brand and one of the most trusted in the industry.
In 1927, the Kenmore name first appeared on an agitator type wringer washing machine sold by Sears. In less than ten years, the company had managed to sell more than one million Kenmore washing machines. With almost 99 percent of all homes wired for electricity by the end of the roaring 1920s, Sears noticed the rising need of home appliances and started to offer a wider variety of Kenmore appliances to their customers which included everything from washing machines to small countertop appliances.
After WWII, The Kenmore Harmony House line of products was introduced and a large assortment of products were made available to the public. Customers could purchase everything from the latest designs in washing machines, to clothes dryers and ranges. These products were available in bold colors including Aquamarine, Malibu Coral, and Sunshine Yellow to help brighten up the modern day kitchen and meet the demands of homeowners who wanted a stylish look all throughout their home.
Over the years the Kenmore brand managed to reflect the ever-changing needs of Sears’ customers by creating brand new and useful appliances that make everyday living a little easier. The brand later added countertop appliances to their mix of washers and oven ranges that included electric baby bottle sterilizers, electric blankets, hair clippers and vacuum cleaners. In 1971, Sears began selling Kenmore microwave ovens. And in 1977, the Kenmore brand name was first seen on refrigerators, forever changing the look and price range of food storage. The Kenmore Prestige Collection debuted in 1990 with stylish colors plus white on white and black on black designs for ranges, washers and dryers.
The Founding and Ownership of Kenmore
Kenmore appliances is controlled by Sears Holdings and owned by KCD IP, LLC, which is a special purpose entity that was created by Sears Holdings. The initials KCD IP stand for Kenmore Craftsman DieHard which are three major brands distributed by Sears stores. Kenmore is currently managed by chairman Edward Lampert who is the President and CEO of the company. The founders of the Kenmore brand were Sebastian S. Kresge, Alvah C. Roebuck, and Richard Sears. Kresge was the founder of the Kmart Corporation and opened the first Kmart Store in 1962 in Garden City Michigan. Roebuck and Sears formed one of the world’s greatest business partnerships when they began the Sears & Roebuck company in 1893.
Additional Facts About Kenmore
- No one really knows where the brand name originated from, however some say that it could have been named after Kenmore Avenue, a prominent street located in Chicago.
- Kenmore is the number one brand in the appliance industry today. It is ranked either number one or two in every major appliance category.
- All Kenmore appliances are available exclusively through Sears department stores retail outlets and online store
- The Kenmore brand is featured on “The Donna Reed Show” with a dishwasher, stove, surface cooking unit, washer and dryer on set.
Kenmore Vacuum Cleaners
While Kenmore may be widely known for their large kitchen appliances and washer & dryer combos, they are also a leading manufacturer and distributor of vacuum cleaners. The very first vacuums designed by Kenmore were put on the market in 1932. The Revolving Brush Cleaner was available for a 30-day trial period for just $24.50. Customers could pay $4 down and $4 per month to eventually own this revolutionary item. The Kenmore vacuum was available to customers with a full money back guarantee. The ads focused on the affordable price of the Kenmore vacuum as well as the appliance’s reliable quality and performance.
Today Kenmore vacuum cleaners are sold at Sears and Kmart stores nationwide and are primarily manufactured by Panasonic. There are a wide assortment of Kenmore brand vacuums available from uprights to carpet shampooers and hard wood floor cleaners. These products range in price from $50 up to $600. Customers may purchase Kenmore vacuums from Sears and Kmart stores, as well as online from retailers such as Amazon.com. Kenmore also produces a variety of vacuum cleaner parts and accessories including bags and filters.
Kenmore vacuums are commonly rated number one by Consumer Reports and are consistently receiving high reviews from credible sources and customers. One disadvantage to owning a Kenmore vacuum is that many older models no longer have replacement parts available which makes repairing an old faithful vacuum almost impossible. Fortunately, many owners are able to find the parts that they need by contacting either their local Sears store or visiting Sears Parts Direct online. Another great idea is to join a group of old vacuums enthusiasts on social media sites (Facebook, Google+).
Some of the most popular Kenmore vacuum cleaner models available today include the Kenmore Progressive Upright Series which comes in both bagged and bagless models, the QuickClean Bagless Upright which is lightweight and filter-free, and the Kenmore Magic Blue Canister vacuum that weighs only 10 lbs and features fingertip power controls as well as an air turbine brush nozzle and 360 degree swivel hose.
Here are 2 of my absolute favorites:
Kenmore Elite Bagged Upright vacuum cleaner
- Read my full review for this vacuum cleaner here
- Rated by consumer reports as the best vacuum cleaner in 2014
- Uses a new 3-D Inducer Fan motor, especially designed to increase the suction power
- Great filtration provided by the type O bags, the HEPA media filter and the washable filters
- Speaking of bags, it uses type-U and type-O. A bag can be used even 6 months, depending on your home particularities and cleaning frequency
- A great set of accessories which includes the Pet Handi-Mate hose and wand, the crevice tool, the upholstery tool and reach-out telescoping wand
- Includes great features such as the “Turn off/on brushroll” and the 4 position handle height adjustment
- The power cord is 35 feet long, biggest I’ve seen in uprights
- A little heavy at 21 pounds
- 1 year limited warranty
- Costs around $314.99; you can buy it directly from here
Kenmore Progressive Upright Vacuum
- One of the best uprights of 2012, rated #1 just 2 years ago
- This vacuum uses the Power-Flow key feature, which keeps the air flowing through an internal chamber made out of 2 compartments, even when the bag is full. This assures little to no suction loss
- Great filtration ensured by the HEPA filter. The bags also have a point to say on this matter
- Great set of tools. The Pet Handi-Mate is especially designed for pet owners. The air-driven turbine can groom and suck up hair and dandruff. Aside that, you get a crevice tool, a combo brush and a telescoping wand
- The hose is extra long (14 feet). The power cord is also 30 feet long
- Comes with an alert indicator. This led signals whether your vacuum cleaner is clogged or has a full bag
- Weights only 18.5 lbs and produces medium noise
- Turn on/off brushroll switch
- 1 year limited warranty
- Around $178.92 on Amazon, or you can get at Sears.com for a similar price
Kenmore has managed to remain one of the top-selling brands in the appliance industry thanks to their commitment to creating quality products at reasonable prices that the average homeowner can appreciate. They are constantly redesigning their products to keep up with the changing times and always back up their appliances with their satisfaction guarantee. The brands dedication to always creating a reliable and dependable product has helped keep Kenmore at the top of the appliance industry for over 75 years.
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