Contrary to what many people believe, Hamilton Beach isn’t an actual place, but a combination of the names of the company’s founders, Louis Hamilton and Chester Beach. The company had its beginnings in 1904 when the two both worked at U.S. Standard Electrical Works in Racine, Wisconsin. Louis Beach was employed as an engineer, and during his time at Standard Electrical Works, he developed a lightweight, high speed motor that had many applications and made the company one of the most successful early electronics companies.
In 1910, Hamilton and Beach left Standard Electrical Works and with financier Fredric Osius and formed the Hamilton Beach Manufacturing Company. Beach managed the factory for the newly established company and Hamilton managed the business and advertising end. One of their first successful products was an electric drink mixer. The owner of the Horlick Malted Milk Company, also located in Racine, urged Hamilton and Beach to develop a device to make it easier to mix malted milkshakes, a popular drink at the time.
In 1911, Beach created a drink mixer that became hugely popular not only in Racine, but in soda fountains throughout the United States. In those days, malted milkshakes were often prescribed by doctors to build strength and as one can imagine, malted milkshakes were a popular remedy! Although the drink mixer was very successful, Hamilton Beach continued to work on new products and a year later, the company introduced an electric home motor that could be used in many different appliances, such as fans, grinders, mixers and sewing machines.
The company was successful and continued to expand its product line. In 1921, lightweight vacuum cleaners were introduced, and by the end of the 1920s their catalog included juice extractors, meat grinders, floor polishers, fans, food mixers and many other products. During World War II, Hamilton Beach manufactured motors and other equipment for the United States military.
Over the decades, Hamilton Beach continued to be successful, introducing additional products. In 1990, Hamilton Beach merged with Proctor-Silex and became the largest small appliance manufacturer in the United States. Since then the company has continued to expand its line of quality appliances, including air purifiers, coffee makers, juice extractors, and much more.