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Raymond Loewy (1893—1986)


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(established 1921)

The origins of the largest manufacturer of domestic appliances in the world date from 1919 with the merger of Lux and Elektromekanista in Sweden. Important early company products were the Model V vacuum cleaner (1921) and the Model D refrigerator (1925), setting the stage for a significant expansion of the company with the establishment of factories in Germany (1926), England (1927), France (1927), and the USA (1931). Although enjoying high‐volume sales as a result of the interwar (electricity‐connected) housing boom, from the late 1930s the company began to invest in industrial design as a marketing tool. The American industrial designer Raymond Loewy was employed for this purpose, followed after the war by Sixten Sason, whose company designs included the Z80 vacuum cleaner (1957). In recent decades Electrolux has purchased many well‐known brands, including Zanussi (1984), Buderus (1989), and AEG (1994). This has allowed the company to match labels to particular market—or niche—sectors, a process of establishing ‘Brand Families’ first initiated in 1988.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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