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History


The History of Rayovac

1906

The French Battery Company incorporated in Wisconsin on Jan. 17, 1906. The first products (6-inch cells used to operate telephones and for engine ignition) were made in a Chicago attic. Manufacturing moved to a rented Madison, WI building in March, 1906.

French Battery Company Cell
Mr Ray-O-Lite Poster

1910

The French Battery Company starts selling flashlight batteries.

Ray-O-Lite

1914

The French Battery Company introduces the "French Flasher."

Flasher Flashlight
French Flasher

1919

"Sales Winner" battery display cabinet is first point-of-sale display at Rayovac.

Mr Ray-O-Lite

1921

First time the name Ray-O-Vac is used. Trademarked for dry batteries used chiefly for vacuum tube radios.

French Battery Ad

1927

Charles Lindbergh solos across the Atlantic on May 20, 1927 in the "Spirit of St. Louis," carrying two Ray-O-Lite flashlights as part of his emergency equipment.

Charles Lindbergh

1933

Arthur Wengel, Rayovac's chief electronics engineer, patented the first portable radio with high fidelity reception.

The patent was offered to industry manufacturers free of charge, to promote battery usage.

Portable Radio

1934

The French Battery Company changes its named to the Rayovac Company.

1934 Rayovac Logo

1937

Rayovac's Arthur Wengel patented the first wearable vacuum tube hearing aid.

This patent was also offered to the industry to promote battery sales.

First Portable Hearing Aid

1939

The first leak-proof “sealed in steel” dry cell battery is introduced by Rayovac.

Leak Proof Cells
Leak Proof

1941-45

During WWII World War II Rayovac establishes seven new plants, boosts employment by 1,000%, wins eight Army-Navy "E" awards for major contribution to victory.

Rayovac supplied the military with nearly 500,000,000 batteries.

WWII

1949

Rayovac introduces the crown cell alkaline for hearing aids and launches the famous steel Sportsman flashlight.

Sportsman

1963

The Rayovac hearing aid battery plant opens in Portage, WI.

Portage

1970

Rayovac opens the Fennimore, WI plant.

Fennimore

1971

Rayovac is awarded the patent for silver oxide button cells.

Silver Oxide Button

1972

Rayovac becomes the first U.S. firm to introduce heavy duty all zinc chloride battery, with double the life of zinc carbon batteries then on the market.

Heavy Duty All Zinc

1980

Rayovac introduces the Air 2000 hearing aid button cell.

Rayovac Air 2000 Hearing Aid Button Cell

1984

Rayovac introduced the Workhorse premium flashlight with its lifetime warranty.

Workhorse

1988

Rayovac introduces a new computer clock battery to power the real-time clocks of personal computers.

Rayovac Computer Clock

1990

The Heavy Duty and Industrial product lines are introduced by Rayovac.

2D Light

1992

A new Workhorse Fluorescent Lantern is introduced by Rayovac to provide the consumer more light features.

Workhorse 2

1993

Rayovac introduces Renewal, a reusable, long-life alkaline battery.

Renewal

1995

Basketball superstar Michael Jordan becomes the spokesperson for Renewable Reusable Alkaline Batteries and Power Station chargers.

Michael Jordan Rayovac

1996

Rayovac introduces a new “hands-free” flashlight called the swivel light.

Swivel Light Rayovac

1996

The Rayovac Specialty Battery Line is introduced.

ROV Specialty Batteries

2001

Rayovac introduces break-through 1-Hour Charger and high capacity Nickel-Metal Hydride rechargeable batteries.

1 Hour Charger

2002

Rayovac introduces new Maximum Plus Alkaline batteries with improved performance.

Maximum Plus

2002

Rayovac acquires European-based battery maker VARTA’s consumer battery business.

Varta

2003

Rayovac introduces new 15-Minute charger and rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries, using I-C3 technology.

Recharge IC3

2004

Rayovac acquires 85% share in Ningbo Baowang, a Chinese battery manufacturing facility.

Rayovac acquires Microlite S.A., a Brazilian battery company.


2005

Rayovac acquires United Industries, a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer products for lawn and garden care and household insect control as well as premium branded specialty pet supplies.

Spectrum Brands Chart

2006

Football MVP Brett Favre Becomes the spokesperson for Rayovac.

Favre AA12

2006

Rayovac announces development of revolutionary new Hybrid™ rechargeable technology. “The Best of Both World’s” battery is NiMH and holds a charge like Alkaline, unlike other rechargeable systems.

Rayovac Hybrid

2007

Rayovac becomes the official battery of Disney Parks.

Disney Parks

2007

Rayovac introduces the Ultra Pro line of alkaline batteries that continue to last as long as Duracell® Coppertop™ & Energizer® Max™.

Ultra Pro Family

2008

Rayovac Hearing Aid Battery business launches Rayovac Mercury Free hearing aid batteries, continuing its commitment to the environment.

Mercury Free