1934 - 1950
Ross Siragusa founded Continental Radio and Television Corp. as a maker of consumer electronics (radios and phonographs) in Chicago. This later became Admiral Corp. Admiral supplied the U.S. military with electronic equipment during World War II, and was one of the major television manufacturers in the early era of that medium.
During World War II, Admiral was the weekly sponsor of the CBS Radio Network Sunday news program, World News Today, and Admiral used the promotional slogan “America’s Smart Set”. Admiral was also one of the first major advertisers on television, sponsoring Sid Ceasar’s Your Show of Shows, Light’s Out, Fulton J. Sheen’s Life Worth Living , Admiral Present’s The Five Star Review – Welcome Aboard , and Notre Dame football games. During the Cold War, Admiral manufactured military TV cameras for reconnaissance purposes under adverse conditions on land, in the air and under water.
1950 - 1970
Success in television sales enabled the company to branch out into major appliances such as refridgerators during the 1950s. 1962 was a huge year for Admiral Corporation listing four manufacturing plants in Illinois with a work force of more than 5,730 employess with a product line covering television sets, Radios, Record Changers, Refridgerators, Ranges, Freezers, Air Conditioners and many more. On that same year Norman E. Johnson was named President of the company with Ross D. Siragusa staying on as Chairman and President.
1970 - 2000
In 1971, The Miwaukee Admiral’s hockey team derives its name from Admiral appliances, when the team was sold by its original owner to a group of investors, one of the investors, Edwin J. Merar, owned an appliance store. The team was renamed the “Admirals” after the Admiral refrigerators sold in his store.
In 1991, Maytag contracted with Montgomery Ward & Co. for the exclusive use of the Admiral brand on its consumer electronic goods. After Maytag’s sale to Whirlpool, the brand became exclusive to The Home Depot. During the 1990s, the Admiral brand name was being used on Zenith products. The television business continues with AOC International. AOC (originally Admiral Overseas Corporation) is an international brand of LCD and HDTV display devices.
As of 2019 Admiral Corporation of America was established to license the global rights to the Admiral Brand. With the opportunity to license, Admiral saw a chance to keep the dream alive and took on the chance to once again help families with affordable home appliances. As a brand that knows what it means to start small and establish a strong brand Admiral has decided to keep Ross’ vision going. Throughout its 85-year history, Admiral home appliance and consumer electronics continues to address the needs of both domestic and international consumers.