Frederick Louis Maytag I

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Frederick Louis Maytag I (July 14, 1857 – March 26, 1937) also known as F. L. Maytag, founded the Maytag Company, which eventually became the Maytag Corporation and in turn was acquired by the Whirlpool Corporation in 2006.[1]


F.L. Maytag was born July 14, 1857, in Elgin, Illinois, the eldest of 10 children born to German immigrants Amelia Tonebon (1837-1905) and Daniel William Maytag (1833–1900), who had Anglicized the original spelling of his surname from Maitag upon arrival. The full set of children were: Frederick Louis Maytag I (1857–1937);[2] Lewis R. Maytag (1859–1943); Martha M. Maytag (1861-1955); Theodore Henry Maytag (1864–1931); Jacob E. Maytag (1866-1908); Emma Maytag (1869–1956); Daniel C. Maytag (1872–1956); Helena Maytag (1875–1881); Anna A. Maytag (1877–1964); and Viola Maytag (1880–1966).[3] In 1867, when Frederick was ten years old, the family traveled in a covered wagon to a small farm near Laurel, Iowa.


F.L. Maytag attended North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, in 1872-73.[4]


In 1893, F.L., his two brothers-in-law, and George W. Parsons each contributed US$600, for a total of US$2,400, to start a new farm implement company named Parsons Band-Cutter & Self Feeder Company. This company produced threshing machines, band-cutters, and self-feeder attachments invented by Parsons.

F.L. Maytag eventually took sole control of the firm and renamed it the Maytag Company. As Maytag grew, F.L. forayed into other businesses such as the Maytag-Mason Motor Company automobiles. In the 1910s, F.L. left the day-to-day company operation in the hands of sons Elmer Henry Maytag and Lewis Bergman Maytag, to concentrate on other business areas including innovations of a washing machine with a gas powered motor branded as the Multi-Motor and a washing machine with an agitator that forced the water through the clothes branded as the Gyrafoam. These inventions proved extremely valuable as by 1927, Maytag was producing more than twice the washers of its nearest competition and had outperformed the industry with growth doubling for five consecutive years.

Even after Elmer Henry Maytag became Maytag's president in 1926, F.L. was active in promoting Maytag products, and ensuring worker happiness and often greeted employees by asking, "Is everybody happy?"

Mr. Maytag was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1995.

An active member in his Masonic Lodge - he was a member of Newton Lodge No. 59, Newton, Iowa, receiving degrees on April 23, May 14,[5] and raised a Master Mason[6][7] on Sept. 13, 1887.


F.L. married Dena Bergman, and they had two sons and two daughters. F.L. donated a 40-acre (160,000 m2) park and swimming pool to the city of Newton, Iowa, now named Maytag Park and Maytag Pool. He built and donated the Maytag Hotel and spearheaded a theater and a water plant. F.L. also built hundreds of houses for his workers, selling them on easy terms.


In 1937, Frederick Maytag died of a heart ailment at Good Samaritan Hospital, near his winter home in Beverly Hills, California. He left a US$10 million estate (equivalent to $193 million today).[8][9]

A special train brought mourners from the east coast to Newton, Iowa, and an estimated 10,000 factory workers and salesmen formed a line five blocks long to observe the casket processional. Those who could not fit into the First Methodist Church for the funeral service were taken to four other churches and two halls.

He is buried in Newton Union Cemetery, Newton, Jasper County, Iowa.[10]


  • "In all business, there is a factor which cannot be compensated for in dollars and cents or computed by any measure. It has no relation or connection with the mercenary and is represented only by the spirit of love which the true craftsman holds for his job and the things he is trying to accomplish."
  • "Is everybody happy?"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ingham, John (1983). Biographical Dictionary of American Business Leaders. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-23908-8.
  2. ^ "Letters". Time. November 23, 1931. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved 2007-07-21. Knowing your yearning for absolute accuracy, beg your permission to advise that you announced the death of the wrong Maytag in your Milestones department in your issue of Oct. 19. The item should have stated that Theodore Henry Maytag, age 67, had died and not Elmer Henry Maytag. Elmer Henry Maytag is a son of Frederick Louis Maytag, is president of the Maytag Co. here and very much alive in his late 40s. He is also a member, by appointment of the President, of the Unemployment Committee which is chaired by Mr. Gifford.
  3. ^ In the 1880 US Census for Jefferson, Iowa Daniel's mother Mary Maytag (1800–?) is living with them.
  4. ^ Higgins, Jo Fredell (2001). Naperville, Illinois - Jo Fredell Higgins. ISBN 9780738518954. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  5. ^ "List of famous freemasons". Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon. Archived from the original on October 4, 2001. Retrieved Sep 30, 2018.
  6. ^ "Famous men members of Masonic Lodges". American Canadian Grand Lodge ACGL. Archived from the original on November 17, 2018.
  7. ^ "History of Freemasonry". Archived from the original on November 30, 2010. Retrieved Oct 20, 2018.
  8. ^ "In Jasper County". Time. July 25, 1938. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-21. Great is the name of Maytag in Jasper County, Ia. In Newton, the county seat, is Maytag Co's 14-acre (57,000 m2) plant, where last year some 1,500 workers turned out $16,984,966.28 worth of Maytag washing machines.
  9. ^ "F. L. Maytag, Maker of Household Aides. Began Manufacturing Washing Machines in 1907. Dies in Los Angeles at 80". New York Times. March 27, 1937. Frederick L. Maytag, manufacturer of washing machines and a pioneer automobile maker, died in Good Samaritan Hospital here today. He was 80 years old.
  10. ^ "Frederick Louis Maytag (1857 - 1937) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 2015-07-15.

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
First President of Maytag Corporation
Succeeded by