National Therapeutic Recreation Month on February, 2024: Does anyone in Italy know the Jacuzzi family history?
February, 2024 is National Therapeutic Recreation Month 2024. Therapeutic Recreation Week The National Therapeutic
Around 1900, seven brothers named Jacuzzi (pronounced yah-KUH-tzih) immigrated to the United States from Italy. They eventually settled on the West Coast in Berkeley, California and became machinists. One of them, Rachele (pronounced "rah-KEH-leh"), began making aircraft propellers, inspired by an airshow he saw at the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition in nearby San Francisco. Rachele and his brothers created an aircraft manufacturing company in Berkeley called "Jacuzzi Brothers," which remained in business until 1976, although their product line changed over the years.
In 1925, as a result of a crash of one of their planes in 1921 en route between Yosemite and San Francisco, which killed brother Giocondo, Jacuzzi Brothers stopped making aircraft. Rachele turned the company's know-how in making hydraulic aircraft pumps to the manufacture of a new kind of deep well agricultural pump.
In 1948, brother Candido used the company's expertise in pumps to develop a submersible bathtub pump for his son who had contracted rheumatoid arthritis in 1943, at the age of 15 months, which caused the boy to have chronic pain. The boy received regular hydrotherapy treatments at local hospitals but Candido could not stand to see his son suffering between the therapeutic visits. He realized that the agricultural water pumps that Jacuzzi Brothers were making for industrial use could be adapted to give his son soothing whirlpool treatments in the tub at home. Jacuzzi Brothers marketed this pump, model J-300, in 1955. The son, Kenneth Jacuzzi, eventually started to run the company. During this period, Jack Benny was hired as a spokesman for Jacuzzi.
In 1955, the firm decided to market the Jacuzzi whirlpool bath as a therapeutic aid, selling it in bath supply shops. To generate a little publicity for the unknown product, portable Jacuzzis were included in the gifts given to contestants on TV's "Queen for a Day". It was pitched as relief for the worn out housewife. When Hollywood stars like Randolph Scott and Jayne Mansfield, who were decidedly not worn out, began offering testimonials, the Jacuzzi whirlpool bathtub started to acquire its legendary fame.
In 1968, Candido Jacuzzi invented and brought to market the first self-contained, fully integrated whirlpool bath by incorporating jets into the sides of the tub. See patent #3297,025 filed Jan. 10th, 1967. A new industry and era of whirlpool bathing pleasure was born. The Jacuzzi became a symbol of a luxurious lifestyle. Hundreds of thousands of Jacuzzi portables were installed, both indoors and outdoors, at recreation centers and private homes.
Actually, the whirlpool bath was still mostly a sideline at Jacuzzi Brothers. By far the bulk of Jacuzzi Brother's revenues came from sales of water pumps, marine jets, and swimming pool equipment.
The J-300 pump was portable and could be placed in any bath enclosure. The medical community immediately saw the benefit of this product for their hydro-therapeutic programs. Physical Therapists and Orthopedists would prescribe their use in clinics and in the home. Hollywood celebrities began making personal use of them, bringing further popularity.
Jacuzzi branded hot tubs, baths, showers, toilets, sinks, and accessories are commonly found in residential homes, hotels, and aboard cruise ships and have become popular in high-end spas around the world. Jacuzzi products are distributed in about 60 countries worldwide.
The family history is the classic tale of European immigrants coming to America and living the American Dream. They arrived from Italy in the early 1900's. They started out by picking oranges and building small fixed-wing aircraft. They built a unique propeller known as the "Jacuzzi toothpick." They built the first enclosed cabin monoplane, which was used by the U.S. Postal Service to carry passengers from the San Francisco Bay area to Yosemite National Park.
Because of their knowledge and design experience in aircraft pumps, they turned their attention to the need of the agricultural community for groundwater. In 1925, the Jacuzzi brothers revolutionized the pump industry by designing the most efficient pump of the era. They received a Gold Medal at the California State Fair in 1930 for their new design.
In 1968, Candido Jacuzzi introduced the world to the "Roman Bathtub." This was the first integrated whirlpool bath. His patented jets, placed along the sides, produced a 50/50 air to water ratio providing an experience like none before. The same patented mixture ratio is still a signature feature of today's Jacuzzi jets. Suzanne Somers, then a model, was used in some of the first print advertisements published by Jacuzzi.
In the early 1970s, the company produced larger units with built-in heating and filtration systems. This was the beginning of the spa industry as we know it today. Friends and family were now invited to share the experience of a vacation in their own backyard.
Moving into the 1980s, the company's product line expanded with models that worked in multi-use configurations as hot tubs, whirlpool baths, or both. These models could be installed both indoors and outdoors.
The Jacuzzi Spas International assembly plant is located in Chino, California. This plant was the first ISO 9001 certified hot tub production facility in the world. It has the capability of producing up to 300 spas per day for their domestic and export business needs. Their product line has many unique features such as patented jets, rainbow waterfalls, synthetic sun-resistant siding, stereos, ergonomic seating, triple-layered shells, full foam insulation, and a solid A.B.S. pan bottom.
Jacuzzi today is one of the more commonly recognised names in jetted bathtubs, spas, and hot tubs