General Electric’s logo was easy to spot in homes

Even light bulbs in American kitchens carried the GE logo, featured  on appliances large and small— from ranges and refrigerators to toasters and percolators

GE brought appliances to kitchens across America and gave the advertising world an easily-identifiable, timeless logo that has lived for more 130 years without any really noticeable changes other than the adoption of blue as the corporate colour.

It has identified thousands of consumer products and it requires no adaptation for today’s GE products and services.

The company’s website today summarizes the growth of General Electric“From Thomas Alva Edison’s first incandescent light bulb to the latest jet engine brimming with internet-connected sensors and 3D-printed parts, GE has pioneered technologies that have spurred world-transforming changes and improved the lives of billions.”

A ceiling fan in 1898 may have been the first product to carry the GE logo, created six years after Edison General Electric Company and the Thomson-Houston Electric Company merged to form the General Electric Company.

 GE advertisements  in the American Home magazine, June 1937, focused on electrical installations in homes and on appliances for the kitchen

GE Appliances
in 1937

Chafing Dishes,
Christmas-tree Lights
Clocks
Coffee Makers
Curling Irons
Disc Stoves
Dishwashers
Electric Blankets
Electric Cookers
Fans
Floodlights
Food Mixers
Heating and Air-conditioning
Heating Pads
Immersion Heaters
Ironers
Kitchen Disposall
Mazda Lamps
Percolators
Photo Lamps
Radiant Heaters
Radios
Refrigerators
Room Coolers
Sandwich Grills
Sunlamps
Toasters
Urn Sets
Vacuum Cleaners
Ventilating Fans
Waffle Irons
Washers
Water Coolers

American Home Magazine 1937

In 2016 General Electric sold its appliance business to the Chinese company Haier for $5.4 billion.

Haier is best known as a manufacturer of household goods including washing machines, refrigerators and microwaves. In recent years, it has sought to expand into new international markets, including the U.S.

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General Electric Heating and Air conditioning

General Ectric advertisement for heating and airconditioning
The advertisement tells readers that Mrs. Carlotta Creevey Harrison of Cooperstown, New York, installed GE heating and Air conditioning: “We have perfect temperature even at 20 below—thanks to our grand G-E Heating and Air-Conditioning system—which gives filtered and humidified warm air in the important rooms, and a radiator vapor system in the others.”   Mrs. Harrison signed this endorsement.

Help for home owners was available at the General Electric Home Bureau with its staff of experts who “can supply you and your architect with authoritative information on the newest and best electrical installations and materials.” Sending GE a name and address would get a homeowner a free “New American Home” folder “full of facts on home planning, wiring and electrical equipment.”

General Electric Refrigerators and Ranges

 General Electric refrigerators and ranges date back more than 100 years. The first GE refrigerator was developed in 1910 with technology invented in 1895 by  Marcel Audiffren, a French monk and physicist, who held the patent to a small domestic electric refrigerator that used sulfur dioxide to cool a circulating salt brine. The GE range originated with the 1918 merger of General Electric and the Hotpoint Electric Appliance Company.

Refrigerator and range innovation never ceased. Read about it in A Century of GE Appliance Manufacturing in the Assembly Magazine. The Westinghouse story is equally interesting.

General Electric Light Bulbs and Clocks

GE first sold light bulbs under the Mazda name in 1909 although Edison began working on incandescent lights in 1878. General Electric clocks date back to 1917 when GE acquired a strong interest in the Telechron Company, a manufacturer of electric clocks between 1912 and 1992. The “Clock and Timer Division” of GE declined in the 1950s. GE sold the last of its former Telechron plants in 1979.

The GE logo is a monogram, a motif of two letters forming one symbol. Monograms date back to Roman and Greek rulers and have long been used by companies as recognizable logos.

For those interested in the origin, here is a detailed examination of the GE logo: The History of the GE Monogram

And here is an interesting video:  The history of GE: From Thomas Edison to jet engines to being kicked out of the Dow