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GE Appliances Celebrates 70 Years

Appliance legacy began in 1953 in Louisville, KY – with a dryer

In 1950, General Electric chose Louisville as home for its major appliance division. Louisville could fill the company’s long-range requirements, and the city had excellent transportation available by water, rail and air. The Louisville site was also near the center of distribution between GE distributors and household customers. The location in Buechel, a Louisville suburb, was suitable for the massive plant layout, and the city had a favorable business climate. The first “sign” of the coming Appliance Park was a billboard located on the farmland running parallel to Shepherdsville road.

GE Appliances shipped its first appliance – a dryer – from its Appliance Park campus in Louisville, Kentucky in 1953, beginning a decades-long legacy that builds on the legacy of Thomas Edison. Celebrating 70 years of innovations that shape how American families live, Louisville has been the largest manufacturing site, research and development center with more than 1,600 engineers working throughout 80-plus high-tech labs and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities.

“For seven decades, Appliance Park has been a pioneer in the home appliance industry,” said Kevin Nolan, president and CEO of GE Appliances, a Haier company. “Here in Louisville, GE Appliances invents and builds products that help improve life in the home for families across the country. Today’s milestone is made possible thanks to great employees and the support of valued consumers, customers and community partners who trust and choose us. As we look to the future, we’re more energized than ever to continue serving as a leader in American manufacturing and as a good corporate citizen of our hometown community. Through continued investments at Appliance Park, we’re developing even smarter products, breakthrough solutions, and quality experiences that simplify and bring value to people’s lives.”

Since 2016, GE Appliances (GEA) has invested $2 billion in new products and advanced manufacturing technology for its nine plants and nationwide distribution network to support its strategy to be closer to customers and consumers. More than $800 million of the total investment has been spent in Kentucky, where 6,000 production associates build appliances in five large plants across the massive Louisville campus. In total, GE Appliances employs more than 8,500 people in Louisville.

In 1953, the first appliance carload leaves Louisville plant by rail.

“You can find a GE appliance in half of all U.S. homes thanks to the thousands of employees who have worked here at Appliance Park through the years to produce more than 240 million appliances,” said Peter Pepe, vice president of clothes care for GE Appliances, whose team sits in AP1 – the first manufacturing plant at Appliance Park. “The legacy of innovation that we continue to build on would not be possible without our terrific employees. They make the best appliances in the world.”

From inventing the self-clean oven to the recently launched award-winning, all-in-one GE Profile Combination washer/dryer, finding a better way remains the focus for GE Appliances in Louisville.

Key innovations developed by GE Appliances in Louisville include:

  • 2023 – Launched first smart mixer in the U.S. — GE Profile Smart Mixer with Auto Sense
  • 2023 – Announced the new GE Profile UltraFast Combo with Ventless Heat Pump Technology with 50% more energy-efficient drying in June of 2023
  • 2022 – Engineered the first washer with built-in Amazon Alexa
  • 2021– First in the industry to deploy cooking modes such as Air Fry, Turkey mode and Steakhouse modes via over-the-air software updates to previously purchased appliances
  • 2019 – GEA shut the door on front-loader odor with its new GE Profile frontload washer with its UltraFresh Vent system with OdorBlock featuring unique venting and Microban technology
  • 2018 – Launch of new CAFÉ brand that brings customizable appliances to the mass premium consumer with interchangeable hardware
  • 2016 – First ventless, electric indoor pizza oven
  • 2015 – First and only to launch a refrigerator with a built-in K-Cup brewing system
  • 2014 – FirstBuild, GE Appliances co-creation, maker space and microfactory launches on the University of Louisville campus, jumpstarting new product ideas
  • 2013 – First connected wall oven launches
  • 2003 – Producing great food quickly was the focus of the GE Profile Ovens with Trivection Technology launch. The technology used a combination of three heating methods – radiant, convection and microwave – to cook food up to five times faster than a conventional oven.
  • 1999 – Launched the Advantium™ speed cooking oven using halogen light and microwave technology to cook foods 2-8 times faster
  • 1995 – First smart dishwasher: auto-sensing to gauge soiled dishes
  • 1983 – Launch of fully automated assembly line producing plastic tub dishwashers
  • 1980 – Introduction of the “Time Maker” range with combination conventional/microwave oven to help prepare meals more quickly
  • 1978 – First above-the-range microwave to free up valuable counter space
  • 1971 – First portable room air conditioner
  • 1969 – First custom through-the-refrigerator-door ice and water dispenser
  • 1963 – First self-cleaning oven
  • 1962 – First packaged terminal air conditioner: the Zoneline
  • 1955 – The Filter-Flo System for automatic washers invented at Appliance Park to keep the water clean by removing lint and other particles

About GE Appliances
At GE Appliances we make the world a better place, and our team is committed to leading in the communities where we live and work. Today, our appliances are in 50 percent of all U.S. homes, and our business is committed to serving every family in the country. We are a purpose-rooted and passion-driven organization that believes there is always a better way. We manufacture and sell products under the Monogram®, Café™, GE Profile™, GE®, Haier, and Hotpoint brands. Our products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners and water filtration systems.

For more information on our company, brands, and corporate citizenship, visit

See also: GE Appliances Launches Induction Cooktop Line Manufactured In Georgia