|Headquarters||Charlotte, North Carolina, United States|
|Products||Vacuums, Deep Cleaners, Hard Floor Cleaners, Stick Vacs|
Eureka is a brand of Electrolux Small Appliances North America and a manufacturer of vacuum and other household floor and surface cleaners. The company offers a full line of vacuum cleaners, including uprights, canisters, sticks, handhelds, home built-in systems, battery-powered vacuums, steam cleaners and home cleaning systems. Eureka also manufactures aftermarket vacuum accessories, such as bags, belts and filters.
Eureka Vacuum Cleaner Company was founded in 1909 in Detroit, Mich. by Toronto, Canada-born real estate auctioneer Fred Wardell (1866-1952) to sell vacuum cleaners for which he had acquired several patents. At first only selling vacuum cleaners manufactured by others, in 1913 he and four partners purchased their first plant. In 1922 they introduced the Eureka Model 9, which undercut their main competitor Hoover by 50% in price, with the same horsepower motor and a front-mounted bag that customers preferred to Hoover's rear-mounted bag, offered with a 10-day home trial, becoming the Model T of the vacuum cleaner industry, selling 1 million units in three years. By 1927 Eureka sold 2 million units, selling one-third of all vacuums manufactured in the United States and settling into a perennial second place position behind Hoover.
1930 saw expansion into the making of other appliances with the introduction of the Eureka electric range.
Partly due to the costs of a massive door-to-door sales force, along with the Great Depression, in the late 1930s the company went into the red, divesting its door-to-door force in 1940, and still operating in the red until it was saved only by World War II and a wartime production business.
In 1945 looking to get into the booming postwar appliance industry, the company merged with Williams Oil-O-Matic, a Bloomington, Ill., manufacturer (founded 1918) of oil-based heaters and refrigerators for the home, and the name of the company was changed to Eureka-Williams Corporation.
In 1953 it was purchased by Henney Motor Company of Freeport, Illinois, and in 1959 it became a division of National Union Electric Corporation, going on in 1961 to become the first U.S. manufacturer of a purpose-built electric car, the Henney Kilowatt, which flopped commercially.
In 1974 Eureka was purchased by AB Electrolux of Sweden and the name was changed back to the Eureka Company.
In 1993 it had 20% of the $600 million vacuum cleaner market, vs. 35% for Hoover.
In 2004 the use of the Eureka company name was discontinued and replaced with Electrolux Home Products Division. In August 2011 Electrolux Small Appliances North America relocated to Charlotte, N.C., from Bloomington, Ill., uniting the corporate office operations and support functions for all of Electrolux's North American vacuum, small appliance, and major appliance brands under one roof.
(2013) Today Eureka vacuum cleaners are manufactured by the parent company, AB Electrolux.
Eureka manufactures a variety of vacuum and household cleaner types, including uprights, steam mops, and hand and stick vacuums.
Eureka vacuums are sold online at Eureka.com and by a variety of national retailers.
- "Williams Oil-O-Matic Collection". McLean County Museum of History.
- "Electrolux completes move from Illinois to NC". Peoria Journal Star. August 4, 2011.