• Our History

    A Tradition of Excellence Since 1940

    1940 - A. O. Smith enters the electric motor industry with the purchase of Sawyer Electric Manufacturing Co., a maker of small-diameter and small integral horsepower electric motors for use in oil wells.

    1947 - On April 29, the Whirl-A-Way Motor Company of Tipp City, Ohio ships its first 25 electric motors to Sta-Rite Industries of Delavan, Wisconsin. More than 50 years later, Sta-Rite is still our customer.

    1950 - A. O. Smith acquires Whirl-A-Way and consolidates all of its motor operations in Tipp City.

    1952 - Century Electric (now A. O. Smith) builds the first low-cost, high-volume permanent split capacitor motor.

    1953 - A. O. Smith begins work on developing hermetic motors for the air conditioning and commercial refrigeration industries.

    1960 - A. O. Smith introduces the square flange mounting, a concept that becomes a popular alternative to the C-Face motor in the pump industry. 

    1964 - To meet the growing demand for hermetic motors, A. O. Smith opens a plant in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky.

    1965 - A. O. Smith applies the enclosed-canopy two-compartment motor concept to pool pump motors. The design improves motor reliability by separating the switching components from the motor windings.

    1975 - Century Electric produces the first UL-approved swimming pool motor.

    1976 - A. O. Smith opens its first motor plant outside the United States in Bray, Ireland, to serve commercial compressor customers in Europe and the U. S. with large-horsepower hermetic motors.

    1982 - MagneTek's Motor Division (now A. O. Smith) introduces the first triple-voltage, factory-wired "quick connect" fractional horsepower three-phase motors.

    1983 - The company introduces the Centurion switchless, permanent split capacitor motors for the swimming pool, spa, and jetted tub industries.

    1986 - A. O. Smith acquires Westinghouse Electric’s Small Motor Division. 

    1991 - A. O. Smith develops the first hermetic motor insulation system compatible with R-134a non-ozone-depleting refrigerant. 

    1992 - The Bray plant earns ISO-9002 certification.

    1995 - A. O. Smith develops the first hermetic motor insulation systems compatible with ammonia.

    1996 - MagneTek discovers the cause of premature failure in inverter-duty motors, leading to the development of the Speed Engineered inverter duty line of motors.

    1997 - A. O. Smith acquires UPPCO, Inc., becoming the world’s largest manufacturer of subfractional horsepower C-frame motors. 

    1998 - The company acquires General Electric’s domestic hermetic motor operations, becoming North America’s largest manufacturer of hermetic motors.

    1998 - York International makes A. O. Smith its Tier One motor supplier.

    1999 - A. O. Smith acquires the worldwide electric motor operations of MagneTek Inc.

    2005 - A. O. Smith acquires YYZM in YueYang, China

    2008 - A. O. Smith introduces new Branding Initiative

    2011 - Regal-Beloit Corporation acquires Electrical Products Company from A. O. Smith