Jason International Company
|Headquarters||Little Rock, AR, US|
|Products||hydrotherapy baths, soaking baths, shower bases, faucetry, and accessories|
Jason International, Inc. is a manufacturing company specializing in hydrotherapy bathing products, including soaking, air, whirlpool, and air-whirlpool baths. Jason International was founded in 1982 by Remo C. Jacuzzi, of the Jacuzzi family that developed the first hydrotherapy pumps and products. Jason International is headquartered in North Little Rock, AR.
History of Hydrotherapy
The history of Jason International is based around its founder, Remo Jacuzzi, whose story is entwined with the Jacuzzi family as a whole. Remo’s grandparents, Giovanni and Teresa Jacuzzi, lived in northern Italy through the early part of the 20th century. Remo’s father, Valeriano, was the second of thirteen children.
In 1907, Valeriano and his brother, Francesco, immigrated to America in order to find a better way of life. After working with pick and shovel building railroad tunnels in the northwest, the two brothers migrated to southern California to work in agriculture. Soon two other brothers joined them, one of which was Rachele, who became fascinated with aeronautics while serving in the Italian army. Rachele was an inventor and theorist who published Creation, a book that theorized the existence of black holes, and that preceded any scientific proof of their existence. Eventually two additional brothers joined them.
Brother Rachele developed the highly efficient wooden “toothpick” airplane propeller which became the product that launched the founding of Jacuzzi Brothers, Inc. in 1915. Many of these propellers were used in WWI.
In 1920 the Jacuzzi Bros. company debuted their J-7, the first enclosed cabin monoplane built in the United States. In a test run returning from Yosemite to Oakland, the J-7 suffered damage and crashed, killing all passengers on board including Giocondo Jacuzzi, one of the brothers. This tragedy led the family to pursue other interests outside of aviation.
Rachele continued his research, eventually developing the Frostifugo, a device that utilized a steam-driven propeller to blow warm air over citrus crops of California, thus preventing them from frost. In 1926, Rachele developed and patented the revolutionary deep-well injector pump which launched Jacuzzi brothers into an international company.
After Rachele’s death in 1937, the family members still working at Jacuzzi Brothers continued to test and develop new types of pumps for the agriculture industry, many of which became mass-produced and sold in both national and international markets. Brother Candido Jacuzzi became general manager of the company and helped develop their most famous invention, the whirlpool bath for home use. As a means to ease his son Kenneth’s rheumatoid arthritis, Candido worked with company engineers to build a portable therapy pump that could be placed in a home’s standard bath for at-home hydrotherapy use. In 1954 the pump was patented, and in 1962 the company launched the first built-in pump for a whirlpool bath, the J-500 and J-600.
Remo Jacuzzi’s experience in hydrotherapy far predates his work with Jason International. Remo grew up in Antioch, California and received his B.S. in Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He went to work for Jacuzzi Brothers full-time immediately after school and worked as a sales engineer.
After a major conflict and resulting lawsuit between members of the family, Candido stepped down as president of Jacuzzi Brothers. In 1968 Remo and his family moved to São Paulo, Brazil where he became president of the branch of the family company there. In 1980 Remo moved back to the U.S. and was appointed president of Jacuzzi Brothers. The headquarters at the time was in Little Rock, Arkansas. After the 1979 sale of Jacuzzi Brothers by the family to a corporate conglomerate, Walter Kidde, Inc., Remo decided to start his own business.
In 1982 Remo founded Jason International, with the headquarters and manufacturing facilities in southwest Little Rock. The name Jason is an acronym for JAcuzzi SON, to reflect the history of the family. Remo and his wife, Paula, have six children, three of whom work for Jason. Spirit, Wind & Water was written and published by Remo in 2007, chronicling his family history and the history of Jacuzzi Brothers.
The first products manufactured by Jason were a line of outdoor spas. In 1983 Jason introduced their first line of whirlpool baths. In 1988 they segmented their bath offering into two different collections. The company moved to their current location in North Little Rock, AR, in 1989.
In 1992 Jason introduced the Remo Jacuzzi Signature Series of baths. In 1995 Jason introduced the whirlpool jetted neck pillow. In 1996 they introduced Sani-Design technology for whirlpool baths.
Jason manufactured the first air bath produced in the U.S. in 1999. Following this, in 2001, Jason manufactured the first combination air-whirlpool bath in the U.S. In 2004 they introduced the Carrera Collection of solid surface baths, designed by Shawn-Ian Bruce.
In 2008, Remo Jacuzzi was honored by being inducted into the Haas School of Business Hall of Fame at the University of California at Berkeley.
Today, more members of the Jacuzzi family are employed at Jason International than at any other hydrotherapy company in the United States.
- Spirit, Wind & Water: The Untold Story of the Jacuzzi Family, Remo Jacuzzi, Welcome Rain Publishers, 2007.
- Arkansas Democrat/Gazette, Helaine R. Williams, August 5, 2007.
- Arkansas Business, George Waldon, Vol. 25, No.6, February 11–17, 2008.