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Broan-NuTone: Aligned Innovation From the Very Beginning

Innovation allowed two aggressive young men to emerge from the midst of the Great Depression with two new products that would make major contributions to the housing industry.

Henry Broan, in 1932, developed and manufactured a kitchen fan called the Motordor® Fan that provided quiet and efficient kitchen ventilation. His creation launched what is today 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 NuTone, Inc.

Both men started their companies with a simple product and a few employees. Each expanded their companies, creating revolutionary new products providing unmatched conveniences for homeowners nationwide.

Both were headquartered in the Midwest and both were quickly becoming global companies.

From the very beginning, it was inevitable that their paths would cross as they both saw the need for an increasing number of built-in home conveniences including bath room exhaust fans, range hoods, heater/fan/light combination units, central cleaning systems, medicine cabinets and intercom systems.

Competition sparked increased innovation and innovation resulted in superior products for 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. And in January of 2000, Broan Mfg. Co., Inc. became Broan-NuTone LLC, with NuTone Inc., Aubrey Manufacturing, Inc., and Rangaire LP as subsidiaries. Melrose Industries PLC acquired Nortek in August 2016.