Why KOHLER???

We always hear – “I thought KOHLER only did bathroom products?” Well, they did, but the brand kept growing. When we decided to start offering KOHLER Whole Home Generators – I wanted to learn more about the brand and the name behind KOHLER. As with anything, I like to do a little research on companies. I learned quite a lot, so thought you may be interested!
 
John Michael Kohler
John Michael Kohler, KOHLER founder, was an Austrian immigrant, businessman and visionary! He purchased a foundry in rural Wisconsin in 1873, that produced a variety of steel and cast-iron products. In 1883, John took a product in his line, heated it to 1700°F and sprinkled it with enamel powder. Placing a picture of it in the center of his one-page catalog, he called it “a horse trough/hog scalder . . . when furnished with four legs will serve as a bathtub.” Kohler was now in the plumbing business!
 
By 1900 KOHLER had suffered a fire at a plant, bought 21 acres and John Michael Kohler passed away. But in 1900, Robert J Kohler took over and helped put KOHLER back on track to his dad’s vision. In 1911, KOHLER introduced the first one piece bath tub, with integral apron. This would be the bathtub millions of consumers use today, thanks to KOHLER’s bright ideas. During World War 1 the company produced mine anchors, projectiles and shells for U.S. forces. By 1920, KOHLER had branched out and entered the Power Systems business with the introductions of the Kohler Automatic Power & Light, the world’s first engine powered electric generator. By the 1930’s, KOHLER had a full-line of plumbing products including using groundbreaking technology and offering cast-iron and vitreous china plumbing products in matching pastel colors. (This is where I recall seeing pale green sink matching my grandmothers toilet and bathtub) And they had landed a spot in an exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. In 1941, KOHLER again supported the war effort and converted much of its production to torpedo tubes, shell fuses and other military components. During this time plumbing fixtures and generators were manufactured only for war housing, war industries, hospitals and military uses. After war time efforts, KOHLER went back to being a staple in our homes!
 
Through the next several decades KOHLER keeps branching out and growing from the humble beginnings to the multifaceted global family of brands we all know and love. In 1973, KOHLER celebrated it’s 100th birthday with gala parties, new products and a “demonstration house” that was featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Throughout the years the Kohler family worked together to organize the Kohler Foundation, Inc. – which to this day supports cultural, educational, environmental and other civic causes. As well as building The John Michael Kohler Arts Center. This was to develop the Arts/Industry program, giving artists from around the world access to the pottery and foundry to create original works of art! In the late 70’s Kohler opened a 500 acre wilderness preserve along the Sheboygan River known as River Wildlife and The Sports Core, a 35,000 square foot athletic facility, becoming one of the most comprehensive indoor sport and fitness centers in the nation.
 
In 1980 KOHLER received orders from five major hotels in the People’s Republic of China, the first sales in China by an international plumbing company since the 1930’s. Also in the 80’s KOHLER sought to grow there booming industry by acquiring Baker Knapp & Tubbs and entering the furniture business. They also acquired Hytec Manufacturing and Jacob Delafon joined the Kohler family of European businesses, thus providing the company with an established network of sales offices and distributors throughout Europe. In the last several decades KOHLER acquired more furniture/interior design businesses to grow there brand and becoming the well known name in today’s household all over the world. In the early 90’s KOHLER partnered with cities in China and with Singapore to grow the international operations.
 
By the 2000’s KOHLER had opened award winning golf courses, Inn’s, spas and opened a Chocolate business, as well as acquiring more businesses around the world. KOHLER also got into the high design and technologically advanced world of luxury shower products. Boosting there brand and still being a leader in home products. Today KOHLER is still leading the way in innovation, technology and design. They are working toward sustainability as an on going journey. KOHLER plans to reach its net zero environmental foot print goal by 2035.
 
KOHLER Corporation and each associate has the mission of contributing to a higher level of gracious living for those who are touched by our products and services. Gracious living is marked by qualities of charm, good taste and generosity of spirit. It is further characterized by self-fulfillment and the enhancement of nature. They reflect this mission in there work, in the teams approach to meeting objectives and in the each of the products and services they provide to customers.
 
**When I set out to write this blog post it was to highlight KOHLER and give our customers a little insight in the KOHLER brand. I never realized KOHLER is as big as they are today, or that they own hotels, spas and golf courses around the world or that they had a chocolate brand. KOHLER has a vision and a commitment and we LOVE companies like that. We stand behind our work and chose KOHLER because they stand behind their products.
 
 
*corporate.kohler.com