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]

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

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.

History edit

Jacuzzi Bros. storefront, circa 1960

Beginnings edit

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]

Hydrotherapy edit

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.

Gallery edit

References edit

  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