U-Line Corporation

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U-Line Corporation is a North American manufacturer of upscale undercounter refrigeration products, primarily intended for residential use with fast ice production and minimal electricity use.[1]

U-Line was founded in 1962 by Henry Uihlein who was the first to patent and bring to market an automatic stand-alone undercounter residential ice maker. Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U-Line has since introduced several other undercounter "firsts," including the first combination refrigerator/ice maker (1971), the first portable ice maker (1971), the first 12v DC marine/mobile ice maker (1983), and the first residential wine refrigeration system (1985).[2]

History[edit]

In 1962, Henry Uihlein left his position at the Ben-Hur Freezer Company to begin manufacturing a product of his own invention. He named his company "U-Line," a phonetic representation of his German-origin name. His invention - a residential undercounter ice maker - was the first product of its kind, and its popularity with more affluent home owners helped his company fund further research and development into additional refrigeration products. Today, the U-Line Corporation manufactures several undercounter combinations of ice makers, refrigerators, freezers, and wine storage systems. Many of these include advanced features, such as dual-zone temperature control in the case of wine storage systems. The company has also introduced a line of refrigerated drawers. All of the company's products can be "built in" to blend in inconspicuously with a room's decor.[2]

Significant Inventions/Milestones[3]

1962
U-Line develops the first undercounter residential and light commercial ice maker.

1971
U-Line introduces the first undercounter Combo Model Ice Maker and Refrigerator. The unit maintains two temperature zones in the same cabinet using a single compressor.

1971
U-Line introduces the first portable ice makers, designed with a built-in water tank that allowed owners to move the unit anywhere in the home.

1983
U-Line develops the first and only 12-volt DC ice maker for marine and RV applications.

1985
U-Line is the first U.S. appliance manufacturer to produce an undercounter wine refrigerator for residential wine storage. The Wine Captain features three temperature zones within the same cabinet to offer proper storage conditions for different varieties of wine.

1987
U-Line develops and patents the industry's first solid state ice maker. Display lights and sound tones alert users when defrosting and other maintenance functions are required.

1991
U-Line is the first to develop frost-free freezer technology in undercounter refrigeration.

1993
U-Line is the first North American appliance manufacturer to eliminate chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from its foam insulation - more than two years ahead of the scheduled federal government mandate.

1998
U-Line designs and develops the CLR60 clear ice maker, which can produce more than 60 pounds of clear ice cubes per day.

2001
U-Line introduces the Échelon Series, a diverse collection of luxury ice makers, combination ice maker/refrigerators, wine storage units, refrigerators and refrigerator/freezers.

Corporate Affairs[edit]

U-Line is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is currently under the leadership of the third and fourth generations of the Uihlein family.

Distribution[edit]

Because they products are aimed at a more affluent demographic, they are not commonly found in national appliance chains, but rather in local upscale retailers.

Competitors[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]