The history of Admiral Corporation began with the production of radios, phonographs, and eventually televisions in 1934 under the leadership of Ross D. Siragusa in Chicago.
The Product Line and a Name
Cook & Hurst Ltd. first owned the Admiral trademark dating to 1914. They made underwear.
In 1936, Ross Siragusa acquired the Admiral trademark inexpensively as the new brand name for his electronic appliance company, the Continental Radio and Television Corporation (CRTC). The company eventually changed its name to Admiral Corporation. The Admiral brand became one of the most popular appliance brands in the United States.
The predecessor of Admiral Corporation started in 1934 as the Continental Radio and Television Corporation (CRTC). The company operated out of Chicago, Illinois, and produced consumer electronics such as radios and phonographs. In 1936, Siragusa bought the “Admiral” trademark and made it his first flagship brand. The name earned such a stellar rep that it eventually became the official identity of the company after World War II.
During World War II, Admiral produced electronic equipment for the U.S. military, including radar sets, radio transmitters, and sonar equipment. After the war, the company shifted its focus to consumer electronics, and became one of the leading manufacturers of television sets in the United States. In 1950, Admiral produced five million television sets, making it the second-largest manufacturer in the country.
In the 1950s, Admiral also expanded its product line to include other appliances, such as refrigerators, stoves, and air conditioners. The company continued to grow throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and by the early 1980s, it was one of the largest appliance manufacturers in the world. This writer’s first purchase of an appliance after college a 1968 Admiral Home Entertainment Center. It had a color TV, a record player, and an AM / FM stereo radio all in one cabinet. Pretty exciting at the time!
However, Admiral’s fortunes began to decline in the late 1980s, as the company faced pressure from foreign manufacturers. In 1991, Maytag acquired Admiral, and the company’s appliance operations were eventually folded into Maytag’s own brands.
Here are some of the key milestones in the history of Admiral Electronic appliances:
1934: Founded by Ross David Siragusa as the Continental Radio and Television Corporation.
1936: Admiral trademark purchased.
1940: Reincorporated as the Admiral Corporation.
1940s: Company produces electronic equipment for the U.S. military.
1950: Admiral produces five million television sets.
1950s: Company expands product line to include other appliances.
1973: Acquired by Rockwell International for $78 million.
1974: Rockwell sells Admiral’s appliance business to Magic Chef, Inc.
1986: Magic Chef is acquired by Maytag Corporation.
1999: Maytag is acquired by Whirlpool Corporation.
2004: Whirlpool ceases production of Admiral-branded electronic appliances. However, Whirlpool has since used the Admiral name on some refrigerators, washers, and dryers sold at Home Depot.
- Year Started: 1934
- Year Ended: 2099
- Origin Of Name: Aspirational
- Location Sales: Worldwide
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: Ross D. Siragusa
- Owner While In Use: Several
- Owner Successor: Whirlpool
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Digital Streaming TV and Music
- Naics Code: 334111
- Location Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois USA