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(established 1932)

This leading French domestic appliance company was founded as the Moulin‐Légumes Company by Jean Mantelet in 1932, the year in which he designed his first manual ‘moulin à légumes’ (vegetable shredder). In 1955 the brand name Moulinex was registered followed by the development of an increasingly diverse range of household appliances. These ranged from coffee‐grinders to kitchen robots, such as the Charlotte (1958) and the Marie (1961), vacuum cleaners (1963– ), electric coffeemakers (1971– ), microwaves (1979– ), irons (1981– ), and hairdryers. From 1962 the company launched the slogan ‘Moulinex libère la femme’ (‘Moulinex liberates women’) and continued to promote itself in this vein in succeeding decades, earning the award of ‘Marque du Siècle’ (‘Brand of the Century’) in 1997. The designer most closely associated with the company's products was Jean‐Louis Barrault, who had originally worked with Raymond Loewy's Compagnie d'Esthétique Industrielle (CEI) in Paris. After working on a freelance basis from the early 1960s he assumed responsibility for the corporate identity of the company's products in 1987. Having been floated on the French Stock Exchange in 1969, Moulinex took over the British company Swan Housewares in 1988 and the German manufacturer Krups in 1991, becoming a limited company in 1994. By the year 2000 the company was marketing its products in over 170 countries worldwide, selling more than 45 million products a year. In 2001 it was acquired by the SEB (Société d'Emboutissage de Bourgogne) a conglomerate that had also acquired domestic equipment manufacturers Tefal and Rowenta in the 1970s.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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