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Origin Of Top Businesses: Kohlr – The Inventor Of The Modern Tub

This section of our site is called “Origins Of Top Businesses”.

It features interesting facts about the early years of well-known businesses.

These facts are given to you for fun and inspiration.

Fun because the way that many top businesses started out is really surprising.

Inspiring because it will help you as a business owner see that if they can do it, so can you.

Now for today’s facts:

the history of kohlr bath tubs

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  • In 1854, when he was 10-years-old, John Michael Kohler was brought to America from Austria by his father.
  • 19 years later, he purchased a majority interest in the Union Iron and Steel Foundry in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and that was the beginning of Kohler Co. 
  • Even though the United States was in the midst of a financial panic that year, which ended up leaving 68 railroads bankrupt, somehow John Michael persisted.
  • He made cast-iron implements for area farmers, small castings for local furniture factories and ornamental hitching posts, urns, benches and cemetery crosses.
  • It was in 1883 that the history would be made.
  • He developed some enamel powder and came up with an ingenious idea. He took a large rectangular basin from his product line, heated it to 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit and sprinkled on the powder.
  • The result was amazing. He was so enamored with his invention he made it the centerpiece of his one-page catalog. Beneath the picture it read; “Horse Trough/Hog Scalder – when furnished with four legs will serve as a bathtub.”
  • The company has been primarily in the plumbing business ever since, still known for plumbing fixtures.
  • What you might not know is that in 1888, the then Kohler Water Works developed the original trademark for something they called a “Bubbler”. Think you’ve never heard of it? Read on!
  • They became popular and other companies developed similar products under the generic term you might have heard of… they are called “drinking fountains”. 



Sources: & Wikipedia

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About Scott Aughtmon (1872 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.