Iowa History Daily: July 14 - F.L. Maytag

Iowa History Daily: On July 14, 1857, Frederick Louis (F.L.) Maytag, founder of the Maytag Washing Machine Company, was born. An eventual State Senator representing Jasper County and a successful investor in several businesses, Maytag’s creation of one of Iowa’s most historically significant brands stands out as his most important accomplishment.

Born in Elgin, Illinois, F.L. relocated with his parents and nine younger siblings to a Marshall County, Iowa, farm in 1868. Mechanically-minded, Maytag found himself working at an implement business in Newton after moving off the family farm during early adulthood. Although he went on to gain an ownership stake in the business, Maytag left to purchase a lumberyard during the 1880s.

In 1893 Maytag became a partner in Parsons Band Cutter & Self Feeder Company, and he soon took sole control and renamed it the Maytag Company. The company debuted the first of many iconic washing machines 1907, and reorganization took place in 1909 to shift focus to the popular new appliance. Stressing quality over affordability, F.L. Maytag oversaw the first twelve years of the reorganized and quickly growing company.

Maytag also invested in several other notable ventures including the Maytag-Mason Automobile Company, the South Dakota Railway Company, and the Iowa Mausoleum Company. Outside of business he served as a State Legislator, as Newton’s Mayor, and as the first ever director of the budget for the State of Iowa. Also a philanthropist, one of the most enduring contributions of the Maytag founder still exists in Newton’s Maytag Park and Bandshell. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar #IowaOTD


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