You know that an invention is a great one when its brand name becomes synonymous for the product. Consider the InSinkErator. Many people use it as a noun rather than a brand name because it is often seen as the best in the industry. A homeowner may even call their garbage disposal an InSinkErator if it is another brand altogether!
What is so amazing about this wonderfully useful piece of household machinery is that it is such an old invention. It is not a product of the 50s, 60s, or 70s, but was created by an architect named John Hammes in 1927. It was born out of necessity when his wife explained how much easier it would be to have an "in the sink" disposal for food scraps.
It took him ten years to perfect the technology, but by 1938 he was able to start his InSinkErator Manufacturing Co. (at the time it was spelled In-Sink-Erator but was modified to its modern spelling in 2006) and market this innovative and efficient device.
Was it a hit? Absolutely. By the 1940s it was the gold standard for disposals and became a "must have" item in many homes around the world. World War II put a sudden stop in the growth of the industry, but as soon as the war was over more than a dozen competitors attempted to enter the market for in-sink garbage disposals.
The idea of the in-sink disposal was pretty radical for its time, and that is why so many other contemporary firms began to design and market their own take on this concept. The reason that InSinkErator was able to remain at the top was two-fold: The company immediately partnered with plumbers and plumbing contractors (selling directly to them rather than to appliance dealers), who recognized the superior quality of the design.
Secondly, because Hammes took ten years to perfect his system, and because of this intense focus on quality design, professionals realized its extraordinary value. Soon, many realized that InSinkErator was the "only brand they can install and literally forget" (InSinkErator .com, 2014), and this gave the brand the best reputation possible.
Even after it was established as a premium brand, Hammes' son (who took over after his father's death in 1953)decided to also include a five year warranty and to build a network of authorized service reps who operated independently.
The company kept up with changes by making it easy for outdated units to be easily replaced (via a "Quick Lock Mounting System"), and to grow their market through a partnership with Sears.
The success of InSinkErator was so great that by 1968 a major appliance firm decided to acquire the technology and the brand for itself. It was at that time that Emerson Appliance Solutions purchased InSinkErator outright, and retains the division as part of its global company today.
Further divisions or acquisitions have not occurred since that time, and the only changes have been in the design and lineup of products sold, the logo, and the shift from In-Sink-Erator to InSinkErator in 2006.
Under the Emerson umbrella, InSinkErator became (temporarily) a brand known for other appliances such as instant hot water dispensers (which it is still the top manufacturer of today) trash compactors, and dishwashers (with disposals built into their functions). The firm was also hired to make disposals for the other top name brands. By the 1990s, InSinkErator was also making appliances for food service clients.
Today, the company is back to making its famous disposals and also offering household water products. It markets its Evolution Series of high performance disposers that are more efficient, as well as their Evolution Excel that can grind any sort of food waste imaginable. They also have the See and Hear line, as well as the Badger models. They also market water filters, instant hot water systems, and accessories.
InSinkErator also has a Food Service division that sells award winning and efficient disposals, pulpers, and hot water systems for restaurants and commercial kitchens.
InSinkErator has a presence on most continents. It remains supremely innovative, still doing a research and design for advanced technologies in disposers. In the last ten years "InSinkErator has published dozens of patents and has invested millions in R&D...partnered with universities, researchers and municipalities from around the world, seeking smarter ways for society to convert food waste into renewable energy and fertilizer." (Insinkerator.com, 2014)
Innovative from the start, InSinkErator remains focused on doing its best for homes and businesses around the globe.
InSinerator.com. About Us. Insinkerator.com. 2014. http://www.insinkerator.com/en-us/About-Us/Pages/Default.aspx