On September 27, 1911, West Bend Aluminum Company was founded by Bernhard C. Ziegler and six other businessmen.
They rented a former knitting mill/button factory for $8.50 a month along the west bend of the Milwaukee River.
The first products included a water dipper and cookware.
The Waterless Cooker was a convenient steam cooker that could cook an entire meal at one time over a stove top range. It lent itself well to the door-to-door sales model.
In 1922, West Bend® introduced the first drip coffee maker, the Flavo-Drip automatic drip that did not require paper filters. All present day coffee makers descend from this break-through technology platform.
Throughout the 1930s, the nation endured the Great Depression. While other companies entered bankruptcy, West Bend® diversified its product line to include copper, helping the company to achieve a small profit throughout the decade.
In 1932, West Bend launched its first electrical appliance, the Kwik Drip coffee maker that heated the water and kept the coffee warm.
Aluminum was put on the mandatory priority list and West Bend Aluminum Company won a contract with the Navy to produce defense tools. The company quickly converted from manufacturing cookware to military items for the war.
The West Bend Aluminum Company was recognized for this outstanding achievement with the honor of receiving the coveted Navy "E" award 6 times before the end of the war.
Company sales exploded; the West Bend® brand was sold in every state in the nation.
New product innovations came to fruition – shown here, a new electric slow cooking concept and Electrical Shish Kebob maker.
In 1961, West Bend® celebrated its 50th anniversary. To reflect the various materials and product lines, it changed its name to The West Bend Company.
Partnering with DuPont, West Bend® began using innovative Teflon and Silverstone non-stick finishes in many appliances and cookware.
As undisputed leader in the Aluminum Coffee urns category, West Bend® identified and seized a unique market opportunity in creating corporate and product branded urns for other companies.
West Bend® products became mainstream and were advertised extensively on television. Several products were even endorsed by the Pat Boone Family.
In the mid-'70s, the Stir Crazy® electric corn popper was introduced to the world. The Stir Crazy® is still one of the company's best-selling heating appliances today.
In 1983, West Bend® acquired Total Gym Equipment and entered new product markets.
West Bend® quickly became the number one producer of breadmakers in the world, holding that position in the marketplace from 1995 until 1997. By 1999, West Bend® had sold 3.2 million units.
West Bend® is purchased by Focus Products Group, LLC, an investment and growth oriented holding company headquartered in Lincolnshire, IL.
Later, Back to Basics® joins West Bend® to develop high quality products at reasonable prices with innovative features, launching the highly successful Egg and Muffin Toaster™.
Significant emphasis is placed on the West Bend® brand.
Recognizing the growing popularity of West Bend® products and at home cooking, West Bend® invested in a new brand image manifested in lifestyle packaging, website, and kicked off social media campaigns to address its diverse consumer base.
On September 27, 2011, the West Bend® brand celebrated its 100th anniversary in the same place it began: West Bend, Wisconsin.