Ohio Icon: KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Ohio Icon: KitchenAid Stand Mixer

A KitchenAid mixer is displayed against a white background.

Photo courtesy of KitchenAid

Location: The only place in the world where KitchenAid stand mixers are produced is the KitchenAid factory at 1701 KitchenAid Way in Greenville.

Provenance: After observing a baker hand-mix dough in 1908, Herbert Johnston, an engineer at Hobart Manufacturing in Troy, devised the first electric mixer for commercial use. His Model H stand mixer debuted in 1914 and was quickly adopted by professional bakers and even by the U.S. Navy, which made it standard equipment on ships. Because of the Model H’s success, Hobart launched a smaller version — Model H-5 — for home cooks in 1919. A pioneering appliance, the H-5 employed “planetary action,” an innovative and exclusive feature that turns the beater in one direction as it simultaneously circles the bowl in the opposite direction. The mixer also had slicer and juicer attachments that converted it into a versatile “food preparer.” Wives of Hobart executives tested the H-5 in their own kitchens, and after one of them described it as “the best kitchen aid I have ever had,” the KitchenAid brand was born.

KitchenAid’s recipe for success continued in the 1930s, when famed industrial designer Egmont Arens created the Model K, a lighter, lower-cost mixer with a streamlined shape that became the archetype for future stand mixer silhouettes. After World War II, production moved to Greenville, where in addition to standard white, KitchenAid rolled out stand mixers in five new colors — petal pink, island green, sunny yellow, satin chrome, and antique copper — in 1955. Whirlpool Corporation acquired KitchenAid in 1986 and subsequently constructed the state-of-the-art facility where millions of KitchenAid stand mixers and other small appliances are manufactured annually.

Significance: A hundred years after introducing the first home stand mixer, KitchenAid is the world’s leading mixer brand. Now made in 84 colors, KitchenAid stand mixers are available in 115 countries and sell at the rate of five per minute.

Currently: To celebrate the stand mixer’s centennial, KitchenAid is providing two limited-edition mixers in Misty Blue, a retro color with a hint of green. One model comes with a ceramic bowl ($649.99), while the other has a white-coated stainless-steel bowl ($519.99).

It’s a little-known fact that: The KitchenAid mixer factory offers tours, and in downtown Greenville, the KitchenAid Experience retail center carries a complete line of stand mixers and other countertop appliances.