Caloric Corporation began as the Klein Stove Company in Philadelphia in 1890. The Caloric brand was introduced in 1903. It was reorganized in 1946 as the Caloric Stove Company in Topton, Pennsylvania. The company was renamed Caloric Appliance Corp. in 1954 and became famous for offering a complete package of kitchen appliances in the 1950s and 1960s. Its most popular product was their built-in wall oven. In 1967, it was acquired by Raytheon Corporation which also owned Amana refrigerators and Speed Queen laundry products. By the early 1990s, Caloric was absorbed into Amana and the Caloric brand was phased out. The Topton plant was shut down in 1991. In 1997 the company was purchased by Goodman Global, a heating-and-cooling manufacturer who sold it to Maytag (now part of Whirlpool) in 2002.
One important feature of the Caloric gas stove in the 1960s was the infrared burner, which cooks through radiant heat. This distinguished Caloric ovens from their competitors, which produced gas ovens comprising two burners: one positioned lower for baking and another positioned on top for broiling.
The Janesville Caloric Company factory existed from 1908 to 1924. It manufactured the Caloric Cooker, a “fireless cook stove” and precursor to modern day slow cookers. The company operated out of an old furniture factory. The Caloric Cooker consisted of an insulated cabinet with one or more deep wells fitted with soapstones on the top and on the bottom. After the stones were heated and the food was put into the wells; one stone was placed at the top and the bottom of the stove. You could close the lid and the meal would be cooked without danger of its burning. About 150 men were employed by this company when it was in full production. The cookers sold for $8.50 – $15, depending on the number of wells, and came with a 160-page book on how to use it. The company moved operations to Pennsylvania in 1924. In the 1960s, the Caloric Company launched the iconic ad slogan “Now you’re cooking with gas.”
JMM Lee Properties, LLC, the owner and licensor of a diverse portfolio of consumer trademarks, announced today that it will relaunch the classic Caloric brand name on kitchen appliances in late 2012.
Once a top selling built-in appliance line, Caloric was best known as one of the first home appliance manufacturers to offer a complete selection of matching products for upscale kitchens. “Consumers remember Caloric for quality gas ranges and complete kitchen appliance sets,” says Michael Lee, managing partner at JMM Lee Properties, LLC. “They were one of the first to offer a matching bundle of custom color kitchen appliances and décor.”
JMM Lee acquired the rights to the Caloric mark in 2011 and worked in earnest to design and launch a product line that reflects Caloric’s heritage.
True to the original Caloric brand, the new selection will offer a modern version of built-in appliances beginning with a line of stainless steel ovens and ranges available through select retailers starting in the fall of 2012. The company plans to roll out an entire line of both built-in and counter top appliances in phases over the next year.
The reintroduction of the Caloric brand is the first time the name has appeared on a U.S. appliance since the 1990s. The history of the Caloric can be traced to the postwar 1940s when a little company from Topton, Pennsylvania called Caloric Corporation began building stoves for growing American families. One of the first companies to focus on built-in kitchen appliances, including the company’s iconic gas wall ovens, Caloric’s trendsetting line helped originate the concept of a complete set of matching appliances for the home. “Before Caloric, consumers would pick and choose appliances from a variety of manufactures,” said Lee. “In the 1950s and 1960s Caloric created the complete kitchen package by offering built-in ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators, vent hoods; literally everything including a matching kitchen sink.”
Los Angeles-based JMM Lee Properties, LLC owns and licenses a diversified portfolio of home appliance, telecommunication and fashion trademarks, including the brands Bendix®, AirTouch®, Caloric®, Litton®, Modern Maid®, Frogskins®, and Slates®. JMM Lee Properties licenses its brands to leading retailers and manufacturers worldwide.