Leonard (appliances)

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The Leonard Company was founded in 1881 by Charles H. Leonard in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


The famous Leonard "Cleanable" Refrigerator came about after a mishap in the Leonard home: a pail of hot cooling lard was left inside an ice box on top of a cake of ice, resulting in melted ice, a spilled pail and cooled lard spilled all over. Charles created his refrigerator with removable liners and flues. In 1885, Leonard introduced metal shelves and improved the door-locking mechanisms. 1907 saw the introduction of Porcelain lined interiors, which further enhanced the cleanability and sanitation of refrigerators. The refrigerator cabinets were made of highly varnished carved-oak, brass fixtures, and enhanced with mirrors.[1]


Electrical refrigerators were introduced in 1918, and by 1925, Leonard was building one out of every five refrigerators produced in the United States, which amounted to 1000 refrigerators per day.[1] Leonard merged with Kelvinator in 1926. The Leonard brand of appliances continued to be sold exclusively through Leonard dealers, as well as through Canadian and English dealers.


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