What Is the Background of Roper Appliances?
Roper began manufacturing appliances in 1874 and developed name recognition in gas ranges. By the mid-1980s, when General Electric and Whirlpool began a bidding war to acquire the company, Sears sold most of the company's appliances. In 1989, Whirlpool acquired the brand name and major appliance division of the company, while General Electric acquired Roper's stove and lawn care divisions, along with the company's manufacturing plant.
Roper's 1940 Town and Country model featured two full ovens with broilers and six stovetop burners. The company also offered a larger model with eight surface units and a griddle. The porcelain finish on the exterior of the cabinet matched the included salt and pepper shakers.
General Electric's goal in gaining the stove division was to gain access to Sears as a distributor for Roper's appliances, according to the Chicago Tribune. At the time of the takeover, Sears sold 75 percent of Roper's appliances and 37 percent of those Whirlpool made. At one time, Sears was a major shareholder in the Roper Corporation.
In 2006, Whirlpool also acquired the Maytag Corporation, which brought several other name brands under its control. As of 2014, it is the major appliance manufacturer and supplier, with eight manufacturing plants in the United States.