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The Amana Corporation was founded by George Foerstner as Amana Refrigeration in 1934 in Amana, Iowa to manufacture commercial walk-in coolers. The business was owned by the Amana Society.

In 1947, it manufactured the first upright freezer for the home, and in 1949 added a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer. In 1950, the company was sold to a group of investors including its founder, and became Amana Refrigeration, Inc. In 1954, they began making air conditioners. Amana was acquired in 1965 by Raytheon, which had invented the microwave oven in 1947, and introduced the commercial Radarange model 1611 in 1954. In 1965 Raytheon acquired Amana Refrigeration Company.

Although Raytheon had invented the microwave oven 20 years earlier, it needed Amana to commercialize the technology. In 1967 Amana introduced a consumer model of the Radarange, the first popular microwave designed for home use. Amana has since expanded into manufacturing a variety of other appliances including furnaces, ovens, countertop ranges, dishwashers, and clothes washers and dryers. Amana became a part of the Maytag Corporation in 2001, and then part of the Whirlpool Corporation in 2006.

Maytag paid $325 million in cash and stock to buy Amana Appliances. The deal should close by the fall and is expected to add $900 million to Maytag's revenue stream and strengthen its market position in various categories, especially refrigerators.

1934 George Foerstner starts the Amana Corporation in Amana Iowa, manufacturing commercial walk-in coolers. The business was established as part of the Amana Society, a communal society established in the mid-1800s in Iowa. Amana means to "remain faithful" and the brand has remained faithful to the pursuit of quality for over seventy years.
1947 Amana targets the home market manufacturing the first upright freezer designed for residential use.
1949 Amana side-by-side refrigerator/freezers are made available to the public.
1950 The Amana Society sells the company to a group of investors, one of which was George Foerstner. The company is re-named Amana Refrigeration, Inc.
1954 Air conditioners were a natural product extension for Amana Refrigeration; they were added to the product line-up in 1954.
1965 This was a year of transition as Amana Refrigeration Company was purchased by Raytheon. The Amana brand brought a foot-hold into the kitchen appliance market for Raytheon, who invented the microwave oven in 1947 but needed Amana to bring it to market
1967 Under the Amana brand the consumer model of the Radarange was manufactured for home use.
1977 Amana resigns from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers over a dues dispute.
1997 Amana once again changes hands when Raytheon sells the appliance and HVAC business to Goodman Holding Co., LP. Goodman creates to separate limited partnerships with the acquired assets - Amana Appliances and Amana Heating and Air Conditioning.
2001 Amana's Appliances is purchased by Maytag for $325 million from Goodman Holding. The deal brought around $900 million to Maytag's revenue stream and added market strength, with 95% consumer awareness of the Amana brand, in refrigeration.

Tuesday, June 5, 2001, 3:41 PM
By Matt Kelley

Iowa's two appliance giants plan to join forces. Newton-based Maytag will pay 325-million dollars to acquire the Amana division which includes major appliances and microwave ovens, but Maytag will -not- buy the Amana heating and air conditioning line. Maytag president and C-E-O Leonard Hadley says Maytag is the top-consumer preferred brand for clothes washers and dryers and dishwashers. Maytag's Jenn-Air brand is number-one for cooking. Amana has a 95-percent consumer awareness rating for its refrigerators. Hadley says the Amana purchase "extends our premium brand strategy in major appliances.

"The purchase includes three of Amana's factories in Amana (Iowa), Arkansas and South Carolina." Hadley says the acquired Amana businesses will add about 900-million dollars to Maytag's annual revenue, a 25-percent increase for the home appliance division.Maytag has 12-thousand employees, about 35-hundred of them in Newton. Amana Appliances has about four thousand workers. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval which Hadley expects in the third quarter.

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