Over 65 years of passion and business vision
SMEG was founded by Vittorio Bertazzoni from Guastalla, a town near Reggio Emilia in northern Italy, and is today one of the world's leading home appliance manufacturers. The Bertazzoni family's entrepreneurial history began way back in the 19th century. Starting out as blacksmiths, the Bertazzonis soon branched out into metal enamelling. The very first Bertazzoni cookers were put on show at the World Expo held in Milan in 1906.
In 1948, in an era of economic growth and rapid urbanisation, Smeg was established as an enamelling plant working with metals. Today, the acronym of Smeg (Smalterie Metallurgiche Emiliane Guastalla) continues to serve as a memory of the initial activity carried out by the company.
In an era of radical change in social structures, families, lifestyles and living patterns, Smeg were inspired to develop products designed to meet new technological demands and revolutionise home living. Domestic appliances quickly became seen as status symbols to be proud of, permantently changing lifestyle habits and making housework easier and less time consuming.
Smeg has a long history of technical innovation and product development. In the late 1950's, Smeg launched one of the earliest gas cookers complete with automatic switch-on, oven safety valve and cooking programmer/timer. In 1963, Smeg then introduced its' first dishwasher and laundry range and soon after produced a world first in 1970: a 60cm dishwasher with 14 place settings. The mid 1970's heralded the arrival of the very first built-in hobs and ovens and the establishment of partnerships with internationally renowned architects and designers. In the 1990's, Smeg added even more products to its various product lines, including sinks, hoods and coloured retro 50's refrigerators, which were soon to become iconic items all over the globe.
Having consolidated its position in the home domestic appliance sector, Smeg has branched out into other areas, creating new professional divisions that manufacture products for food service customers including a collection of commercial ovens and dishwashers designed for restaurants and hotels, as well as instruments for health and medical applications.
Today, Smeg is run by the third generation of the Bertazzoni family, but it still keeps the memory of its beginnings alive in its Italian name:Smalterie Metallurgiche Emiliane Guastalla, or the "Guastalla Emilia Enamel Works".