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In the midst of the Great Depression, two aggressive young men emerged with two new products that would make major contributions to the housing industry. In 1932, Henry Broan developed and manufactured a kitchen fan called the Motordor® Fan that provided quiet and efficient kitchen ventilation. His creation launched what is today known as Broan-NuTone LLC. Four years later, in 1936, J. Ralph Corbett developed a melodious door chime replacing the obnoxious door buzzer of the time. His development launched what is today known as NuTone, Inc.
Both men, headquartered in the Midwest, started their companies with a simple product and a few employees. Each expanded their companies, creating revolutionary new products that provided unmatched conveniences for homeowners nationwide. Both quickly became global companies and continued to provide innovative, superior products to meet the needs of consumers.
In 1981, Broan Mfg. Co., Inc. was acquired by Nortek, Inc. and became the lead company of Nortek's Residential Building Products Group, which was named the Broan Group.
During this same time period, NuTone was sold to Scovill Manufacturing in 1967 and was then acquired by Williams plc in 1991. In 1998, Nortek acquired NuTone, adding it to the Broan Group and renaming the group the Broan-NuTone Group. Then, in January 2000, Broan Mfg. Co., Inc. became Broan-NuTone LLC, with NuTone Inc., Aubrey Manufacturing, Inc. and Rangaire LP as subsidiaries.
Today, the Broan-NuTone Group is headquartered in Hartford, Wis. and employs more than 3,200 people in six countries on three continents. It is North America's largest producer of residential ventilation products such as range hoods, ventilation fans and indoor air quality products and also holds major market positions in chimes, central vacuums, intercom systems, medicine cabinets, built-in electric heaters, whole-house fans, attic ventilators, paddle fans, ironing centers, trash compactors and speakers.
Broan-NuTone also manufactures private-label products for Sears, Whirlpool, GE and other appliance leaders.
Broan® and NuTone® products are distributed through major retailers including Home Depot, Lowes and Menards, as well as lumberyards, independent co-ops, mass merchants, leading electrical and HVAC distributors and hardware stores throughout the United States and Canada. Most recently, the Broan brand has been introduced to the European marketplace.