HISTORY AND HEADLINES

It all began in 1920. From there, not even we knew how interesting things would get.

Kohlerpower - Our history

History of Kohler

The South Pole. Hollywood. Normandy. Just a few of the places powered by Kohler over the years. Go ahead, dig in. You know you're curious.

1920

Let There Be Light

Kohler builds the first modern-day generators. Originally created to power KOHLER® plumbing products in rural America, the KOHLER Automatic Power & Light (powered by a KOHLER engine) provides instant electricity to homes, boats and businesses around the world.

1929

The World Takes Notice

KOHLER generators join Admiral Richard Byrd and his courageous crew during their historic South Pole expedition. At the bottom of the world, thousands of miles from assistance, the generators provide the expedition's sole source of power — in subzero temperatures. When the mission is over, Admiral Byrd leaves the generators behind. He won't see them again for another four years.

1929

Kohler Goes Hollywood

The brand becomes the behind-the-scenes star of the silver screen, when KOHLER generators are installed on movie studio "sound trucks" to power Hollywood's film cameras and sound recording equipment.

1931

On Hand at The Hoover Dam

The U.S. begins one of the world's biggest engineering achievements — the construction of the Hoover Dam. KOHLER® generators are chosen at this significant moment in history to power the construction lights, so the construction crews can continue their monumental endeavor day and night.

1933

Frozen: An Unbelievable Story at the Bottom of the World

Byrd makes his second journey to the South Pole with seven more KOHLER generators. When he digs out and refuels the original 1929 generators from beneath snow and ice, they start on the first attempt. Word quickly spreads and Kohler establishes itself as one of the world's leading power providers.

1939

WWII: Behind the Battle Lines

It's WWII and the Allied forces need power. KOHLER engines and generators join the U.S. troops and their allies all over the world. Our products provide crucial power on land and at sea — in every theater of war — for mobile hospitals, radio communication, lights, refrigeration and more.

1948

Reliability Gets a Name

Kohler creates its famous K-Series engines, the company's first stand-alone gasoline engines for lawn and landscape, agriculture and snowmobiles. The engines prove so reliable many are still running to this day.

1966

Making Milestones

Kohler produces its 1,000,000th engine.

1995

Up, Up And Away

Kohler is granted a contract from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to provide emergency electrical back-up power systems to U.S. airports.

1998

The First And Only

Kohler creates the world's first electronic fuel injection (EFI) engine for lawn mowers. This breakthrough technology provides commercial cutters with easier starts and significant fuel savings. At this time in the late '90s, the technology had only been used in the automotive industry.

2005

French Connection

Kohler expands its global reach, acquiring French-based SDMO Industries — a worldwide leader known for its premium ranges of generators sets. With the move, Kohler becomes the world's third-largest generator manufacturer.

2007

The Italian Job

Diesel engines become part of the Kohler power family with the acquisition of Italian engine leader, Lombardini. For nearly a century, Lombardini built their reputation on innovative, high-performance engines. This welcome addition allows Kohler to power the agriculture and construction industries.

2008

The Global Family Grows

Uninterruptible Power Supplies, Ltd. (UPSL) joins the fold after Kohler acquires one of the world's premier uninterruptible power supply providers. With headquarters in the United Kingdom and Asia, UPSL provides interim power as a bridge to utility power restoration or until a standby generator takes over.

2010

Critical Acclaim From Every Corner

Kohler launches its new composite-enclosed 14kW and 20kW home generators. And the awards follow soon after. The generators win Green Builder Media "Hot 50 Products of 2010," Building Products "2010 Most Valuable Product Award," Architectural Record "Top Pick" — and the top rating by a leading national consumer magazine.

2012

Diesel of the Year

Kohler creates the world's first Tier 4 diesel engine (KOHLER Diesel KDI) without a DPF. The revolutionary engine provides operators with a Tier 4 final solution and significantly lower operating costs, while offering OEMs maximum power in a more compact size.

The KDI goes on to win Diesel magazine's coveted "Diesel of the Year" award.

2012

Next Stop: South America

Kohler acquires Brazilian-based generator company, Maquigeral. The move expands Kohler's presence to six of the world's seven continents. Sorry Antarctica.

2013

The First and Only: Part 2

Introducing the KOHLER Decision-Maker® 3500 marine controller. The world's first and only integrated paralleling system for marine generators. Now only a single chord is needed to parallel two generators, eliminating the need for oversized and overpriced switchgear.

King in the hill

2015

King of the Hill

Kohler launches the fuel-efficient Command PRO® EFI 824 gas engine — the most powerful engine in its class. For the first time ever, commercial cutters can save $600/year on fuel — without sacrificing power.

Learn More