Speaking on the price of leadership, founder Frederick Louis Maytag said: A grave responsibility rest upon us in respecting the public's confidence. We must maintain the quality of our products in every respect. We must give them more because they expect more.

Frederick Louis (F.L.) Maytag  1857--1937

Frederick Louis (F.L.) Maytag, Maytag Company's founder and first president, was born in Cook County, Illinois, in 1857, the first of 10 children to German immigrant parents.  The family moved to a farm near Laurel, Iowa, in 1867.  With the start-up of Parsons Band Cutter and Self-Feeder Company, F.L. established himself as a businessman, eventually taking sole control of the firm and renaming it Maytag Company.  As the company grew. F.L. branched out into other businesses, and between 1910 and 1915, left the day-to-day company operation in the hands of sons E.H. and L.B., who were sometimes skeptical of their father's practice of gambling everything on new innovations such as the Multi-Motor and the Gyrafoam.  But F.L.'s vision proved accurate, for by 1927, the company was producing more than twice the washers of its nearest competition and had outperformed the industry with annual gains of over 100 percent for five years running.  When son E.H. took over the company presidency in 1926, F.L. continued to promote Maytag products, spending as much as 50 percent of his time at dealer meetings and events.  Noted for his willingness to listen to workers, F.L. often began a talk with employees by asking, "Is everybody happy?"  When he died in 1937, a special train brought mourners from the East Coast, and factory workers and salesman formed lines five blocks long through which F.L.'s casket was carried.  F.L. Maytag's vision, hard work and insistence on quality laid the foundation and established the success of Maytag Company and its products - and made life easier for millions.

Maytag's entrepreneurial sprit was recognized by two of his peers, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone, each of whom also achieved success through attention to quality and consumer needs.
Founder F.L. Maytag and his grandson Fred Maytag II in a Maytag automobile. Between 1907 and 1912, Maytag tried his hand at making cars, vacuum sweepers, and fountain pens as well as washers. Only the Washers went on to glory.

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