Celebrating 100 Years: The History of the Home Motor

The invention that revolutionized the home appliance industry and the way you cook in your kitchen has hit a major milestone. On the 100th anniversary of the patent, we give a nod to the Hamilton Beach Home Motor and tip our caps to the electrically powered appliances it makes possible.

Hamilton Beach Universal Motor

The history of the Hamilton Beach company goes all the way back to 1904 when Louis Hamilton and Chester Beach joined together to design and market a small electric motor people could use in the home for a variety of tasks. A “universal” motor could do it all – power a sewing machine, sharpen knives, mix cake batters, and polish silver. But at that time, electrical motors were massive and only used for large commercial appliances. The challenge was to mimic the speed and efficiency of a commercial motor in a compact, consumer-friendly device.

Hamilton Beach Universal Motor

By 1911, the Hamilton Beach Manufacturing Company had officially been formed. One of the very first products – the drink mixer – used a small, high-powered motor to rotate a spindle at high speed. Soon after, the innovative engineering minds of Hamilton and Beach were able to adapt the drink mixer’s motor technology to a mountable, tabletop, all-purpose motor. By the way, the same type of spindle drink mixer invented in 1911 is still in use today in homes and business throughout the world.

Hamilton Beach Universal Motor

The Hamilton Beach Home Motor was first marketed as an easy way to convert your manual foot pump sewing machine into a self-operating electric “labor saver.” A few additional attachments were also sold with the motor – a grinder/sharpener, polisher/buffer, and a fan attachment for a much-needed respite from the summer heat in the days before air conditioning was widely available.

Hamilton Beach Universal Motor

Hamilton Beach has put this mini marvel of engineering to good use in the century since the September 18, 1917 patent. The small and powerful universal home motor’s legacy can be seen in modern kitchens across the world, from stand mixers to juicers, grinders to blenders, drink mixers to electric spiralizers. Next time your friends or family compliment you on a well-baked cake or a perfectly blended smoothie, give a special shout out to the OGs of kitchen appliances, Louis and Chester, and their 100-year-old home motor.

Hamilton Beach Universal Motor


Recipes to try:

Spiralizer Zucchini & Corn Pie

No Campfire Required: S’mores Milkshake

Homemade Pizza Dough in a Bread Machine

One Comment

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    Nancy Campbell

    The story of the Hamilton Beach home motor was very facinating!

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