From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Company typePrivate
FounderJacuzzi family
United States
Area served
ProductsBath and spa products

Jacuzzi is an American private company that manufactures and markets hot tubs, pools, and other bath products.[1] It is best known for the Jacuzzi hydrotherapy products.[2][1] The company is headquartered in Irvine, California. It is the largest hot tub manufacturer in Europe[1] with eight factories, the largest being in Italy.[3]

The company was founded in 1915 by seven brothers from the Jacuzzi family in Berkeley, California.[4] It developed a variety of products including pumps for agricultural use. In 1948, Jacuzzi created water pumps to treat a family member's rheumatoid arthritis.[5] The water pumps were a niche medical product until they were integrated into a recreational hot tub in 1968. As the popularity of hot tubs grew, Jacuzzi created more models that were more advanced. Jacuzzi was family-run until 1979, after which it then changed hands several times, before being bought by its current owner Investindustrial in 2019.

The Associated Press Stylebook lists Jacuzzi as a trademark brand for products like hot tubs, whirlpool spas, and whirlpool baths[6] and it may not be legal to use the name in a commercial context without permission.


Jacuzzi Bros. storefront, circa 1960


Jacuzzi was founded by seven brothers in the Jacuzzi family: Giocondo, Frank, Rachele, Candido, Joseph, Gelindo and Valeriano, who were from Casarsa della Delizia in northern Italy.[7] Their original last name was Iacuzzi, but when the first two brothers immigrated from Italy to the US in 1907, immigration staff misspelt their name as "Jacuzzi".[8] All seven brothers had immigrated by 1910.[8] More family members immigrated to the U.S. when the brothers won a contract to provide propellors to the U.S. for World War I planes.[9]

Jacuzzi began as a machining company.[10] The brothers worked on a citrus farm owned by an early aviation inventor.[8] They offered to help develop aviation products, creating an early wood propeller that was curved instead of flat[8] and was used in World War I.[11] One of the first propellers they made is now either in storage at or on loan from the Smithsonian Institution.[8] They also developed one of the first fully-enclosed cabins for airplanes, called the Jacuzzi J-7, which was used to transport mail.[8]

In 1921, a mail plane crashed, killing all of the passengers on board, including Giocondo Jacuzzi.[8] The brothers subsequently abandoned the aviation industry and experimented with several other products, the first successful one being a water pump created by Rachele Jacuzzi in 1926.[12] The product line expanded into a variety of pumps.[13]


In 1948, Candido Jacuzzi developed an improved full body hydrotherapy pump, the J-300, to treat his son's (Ken Jacuzzi) rheumatoid arthritis between hospital visits, after noting his positive response the smaller Hubbard tank at the Herrick hospital in Berkeley.[14] He patented the pump in 1952[10] and began marketing it between 1955 and 1956 as a therapeutic aid.[14] The pump was a portable device that could turn any regular bathtub into a spa.[15]

From 1968, a whirlpool bath was produced, which included jets that mixed air and water. This product (called the Roman Bath) was developed by Roy Jacuzzi, a 3rd-generation member of the family.[16] This is considered the first whirlpool tub designed for relaxation, rather than for medical use.[17] Jacuzzi used celebrity Jayne Mansfield and others to market the tubs, which initially gained popularity among Hollywood movie stars.[14] In the 1970s, Jacuzzi products were featured on Queen for a Day and other TV shows and grew in popularity in California.[9] The company started developing larger models that could fit more than one person. They also added filters and heaters, so the tub didn't need to be drained with each use.[18] From 1970, family-sized spas were producted.[19]

By 1989, Jacuzzi had 2,200 employees.[13] Initially, Jacuzzi primarily sold through contractors and builders, but in 1993 it started selling through retailers.[20] In the 1990s Jacuzzi entered markets outside the US, especially in Italy and Spain. By the end of the 1990s, half of its sales were outside the US.[18]

Jacuzzi was influential in the trend towards larger and more luxurious bathrooms.[12]

Changes in ownership[edit]

By 1979,[9] there were 257 Jacuzzi family members involved in the Jacuzzi brand and there was a growing number of disputes among them.[20] Then the business was acquired by Kidde for $70 million.[9] Most of the Jacuzzi family members left the company, except Roy Jacuzzi, who stayed on as the head of the hot tub and bath division.[21] In 1987, Kidde was acquired by Hanson PLC.[22] In 1995 Hanson spun off Jacuzzi and other brands into a public company called U.S. Industries.[18] USI renamed itself Jacuzzi Brands in 2003.[23] This was in turn bought out by Apollo Management,[2] and then by Investindustrial in 2019.[24]

Acquisitions since the 1990s have included Haugh Products[20] (above-ground pools), Sundance Spas,[20] Gatsby Spas,[20] Zurn Industries (toilets, sinks), Hydropool (hot tubs), Liners Direct (bath products), BathWraps (shower and bathtub renovation).[25] In the 1990s, Jacuzzi had taken on too much debt and sold more than $600 million worth of businesses.[18] The business segment producing industrial, irrigation, well water, submersible, and centrifugal systems was sold to Franklin Electric in 2004. The plumbing division, Zurn Industries, was sold in 2007 for $950 million.[26] Current brands include ThermoSpas, Sundance Spas, and Dimension One.



  1. ^ a b c Giornalistica, Agenzia (15 January 2019). "Chi si è comprato Jacuzzi?". Agi (in Italian). Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Private Equity-Backed Jacuzzi Brands Buying Hydropool and Liners Direct". The Wall Street Journal. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  3. ^ Weinstein, D. (2008). It Came from Berkeley: How Berkeley Changed the World. Gibbs Smith. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-4236-0254-5. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  4. ^ Solomon, Saskia (14 August 2023). "The Frothy Saga of the Jacuzzi Family".
  5. ^ "The Frothy Saga of the Jacuzzi Family". nytimes.com. 11 August 2023. Retrieved 23 August 2023.
  6. ^ The Associated Press Stylebook. Turtleback Books. 2015. p. XXXII. ISBN 9780606373043.
  7. ^ Euvino, G.; Filippo, M.S. (2001). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Italian History and Culture. Complete Idiot's Guide to. Alpha. ISBN 978-0-02-864234-5. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Dodd, P. (2008). What's in a Name?: From Joseph P. Frisbie to Roy Jacuzzi, How Everyday Items Were Named for Extraordinary People. Penguin Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-59240-432-2. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d Fucini, Joseph (1985). Entrepreneurs, the men and women behind famous brand names and how they made it. Boston: G.K. Hall. ISBN 0-8161-8736-3. OCLC 11068215.
  10. ^ a b Martone, E. (2016). Italian Americans: The History and Culture of a People. ABC-CLIO. p. 240. ISBN 978-1-61069-995-2. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  11. ^ Johnson, Finos (8 March 1982). "Whirlpools only part of Jacuzzi business". UPI. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  12. ^ a b Hupp, Susanne; Sentinel, Orlando (21 July 1985). "Before Hot Tubs Became Hot, There was Jacuzzi". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  13. ^ a b Leykam, John (1989). Contra Costa County : a chronicle of progress. Northridge, Calif: Windsor Publications. p. 135. ISBN 0-89781-289-1.
  14. ^ a b c Jack, A. (2015). They Laughed at Galileo: How the Great Inventors Proved Their Critics Wrong. Skyhorse. p. 239. ISBN 978-1-63220-236-9. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  15. ^ "History of Hot Tubs and Jacuzzi | Jacuzzi.com | Jacuzzi®". www.jacuzzi.com. Retrieved 6 January 2023.
  16. ^ Martin, K. (2017). Famous Brand Names and Their Origins. Pen & Sword Books Limited. p. 87. ISBN 978-1-78159-015-7. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  17. ^ Professional Builder. Cahners Publishing Company. 1997. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  18. ^ a b c d Grant, Tina; Derdak, Thomas (2006). "Jacuzzi Brands, Inc.". International Directory of Company Histories. Vol. 76. St. James Press. pp. 204–2010.
  19. ^ "Explore the History of Jacuzzi® Hot Tubs - Jacuzzi Ontario". 5 September 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2023.
  20. ^ a b c d e Emert, Carol (12 June 1999). "Hot Water, Cold Cash / How Roy Jacuzzi turned family business into global bath empire". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  21. ^ "BUSINESS PEOPLE; Jacuzzi Whirlpool Creator To Oversee Hanson Unit". The New York Times. 14 January 1988. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  22. ^ "Hanson Trust to Acquire Kidde Inc. in $1.6-Billion Deal". The Los Angeles Times. 6 August 1987. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  23. ^ Jackson, Ted (22 April 2003). "USI Will Become Jacuzzi Brands". Palm Beach Post. p. 5B.
  24. ^ Adrian-Diaz, Jenna (16 January 2019). "Investindustrial to Acquire Jacuzzi Brands". Interior Design. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  25. ^ Kukec, Anna Marie (6 July 2017). "Jacuzzi buys Roselle's BathWraps". Daily Herald. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  26. ^ Terlep, Sharon; Das, Anupreeta; Dezember, Ryan (13 December 2012). "Rexnord Explores Selling Unit". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 12 October 2021.

Further reading[edit]

  • Jacuzzi, Ken (2005). Jacuzzi: A Father's Invention to Ease a Son's Pain. iUniverse. ISBN 978-0-59537-097-9. Self-published.
  • Jacuzzi, Remo (2007). Spirit, Wind & Water: The Untold Story of the Jacuzzi Family. Welcome Rain Publishers. ISBN 978-1-56649-145-7.

External links[edit]