K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Jun 16 2016

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Becoming a Household Name

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We all are guilty of taking a manufacturer’s name and applying it to everything remotely similar. I’m thinking of Kleenex, Lysol, Chapstick or Sharpie – all items we use daily and don’t really think about how they started.

Last week, one of those household names turned 60 years old. I met with the company at the newly opened Ferguson Kitchen and Bath showroom in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood to find out how they got to be known as Jacuzzi.

It started as many American companies do: with immigrants. The Jacuzzi family came to the U.S. from Italy in the early 1900s. The Jacuzzi brothers started a life here in the fields of aviation and agriculture, inventing things like a water pump to help irrigate crops.

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In the 1950s, one of the brother’s children came down with premature rheumatoid arthritis. His mother would drive him all the way to hydrotherapy a few times week, and noticed that the child’s pain lessened significantly after each treatment. So the family designed a pump, the J-300, that could be submerged in a bathtub for personal use. The family started manufacturing it, and it later became popularized as the prize in a game show.

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Of course, we all know that evolved into jet whirlpool baths and hot tubs, and now into the freestanding baths we know today. The company is working on promoting more than just whirlpool tubs, but they are proud to be known as the original whirlpool tub.

And by the way – did you know we turned 60 too just last year? I ran across an old archived page from a 1950s version of Kitchen Business (our original name) on my recent trip to the Wilsonart factory – it’s crazy how much design can go in and out of style, but I don’t foresee aqua cabinetry coming back in anytime soon!

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This entry was posted on Thursday, June 16th, 2016 at 3:24 PM and is filed under Bath Design, Inspiration, Products, Showrooms. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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