Progress Through Experience: A Closer Look at the Early Years

The following is an excerpt from our archives and a historical look at our company before it became Marvel Refrigeration. This is the story of Ranney Refrigerator Company.

The Ranney Refrigerator Company, founded by Frederick E. Ranney, was originally incorporated and started in business in Greenville, Michigan, at its present location in 1892.  For over a half century the company has grown through knowledge and experience gained and imparted from father to sons…three generations of planning and producing better refrigerators.

Prior to 1930, the company was primarily engaged in the manufacture of ice refrigerators sold nationally through furniture and hardware outlets. However, both wood and metal cabinets were produced for several electric refrigerator manufacturers during that period.

During the 1930s, the company manufactured household electric refrigerators on contract, including such names as Westinghouse, Universal Cooler and Zenith. In addition, a line of “air-conditioned” ice refrigerators was marketed nationally through the ice industry with the company’s own sales force. These ice refrigerators bore the trade name “ECONOM-ICER”.

Pearl Harbor found the Ranney Refrigerator Company prepared and ready to serve in the National Defense…Designing and manufacturing accessories for 40 mm Bofors Automatic Cannon; accessories for 20 mm Oerliken Automatic Cannon; propelling charge retainers for 75 mm and 105 mm artillery ammunition; parts for parachute flares and various kinds of containers and parts for Army Ordnance and Naval Ordnance, the Quartermaster Corps and Signal Corps.

The company continued in this manner throughout the war, maintaining a fine defense production record; at one time producing over 30 different products, all on a subcontract basis, for over twenty different customers including such companies as General Motors Corporation, Hudson Motor Car Company, Liquid Carbonic Corporation, American Oerliken Gazda, Rex Manufacturing Company, Fruehauf Trailer Corporation, Chrysler Corporation and others.

When hostilities ended, normal “private label” electric refrigerator production was resumed under such brand names as COPELAND, WORTHINGTON, CO-OP, MONITOR, L & H, ALDENS, ARMAID, SUPRE-MACY, BELKNAP, GILSON and REMA.

Navel Ordnance Development Award

The Ranney Refrigerator Company was cited by the United States Navy with the “Naval Ordnance Development Award” for outstanding performance in connection with the research and development of the 20 mm Sight, Mark 5, Mod O, and the 20 mm Twin Gun Mount, Mark 24, Mod 5. This distinguished service citation was made possible through the fine spirit of cooperation and diligent effort on the part of all employees.

Company Facilities:
Engineering Department

The Ranney Refrigerator Company maintained a complete Engineering Department. This department designed, styled and engineered complete refrigerators to the customer specifications. In addition, this department operated a Product Development Laboratory for the development of new products through testing and analysis of experimental models. The facilities of the Engineering Department were available to customers requiring products other than refrigerators as were all the other company facilities.

Press Room

The Sheet Metal Department Press Room was well equipped to do light and medium stampings. Monorail steel handling equipment serviced the full Press Room width and expedited efficient line production from the steel storage bays through square and rotary shears direct to the bank of presses. Press Room facilities, in addition to standard metal working equipment, included a 175-ton capacity Thunder Bay Press, a 170-ton capacity Verson Press Brake, and specialized equipment including a Tishkin 14 Roll, Roll Forming Mill and a Struthers-Wells high speed Tangent Bender.

Associated with the Press Room, the company maintained a small Tool & Die Department to make small dies, jigs and fixtures and, for tool and tie maintenance.

Metal Fabrication and Finishing

The Metal Fabrication and Finishing Department was supplied from the Press Room and parts storage areas by both power and gravity conveyor systems. Department facilities included arc, gas and spot welding equipment. Skilled personnel operated traveling overhead gun welders, fixed pedestal welder stations, and specialized expansion gun welding fixtures for both line production and job lot application. This department also included complete facilities for metal finishing, grinding and buffing.

Paint Department

The Paint Department was laid out for hi-bake Dulux finishing. An overhead chain conveyor system carried parts through a six stage Bonderite treatment, dry off, prime spray, prime bake, finish spray and finish bake. The conveyor system then delivered finished parts to an inspection station at the head of the assembly lines.

Paint Department equipment included two 20′ DeVilbiss Spray Booths and both gas and oil fired Drying Ovens complete with all safety devices.

Assembly

The entire second floor of the plant was devoted to assembly operations. Straight line production methods were utilized throughout with feeder lines both powered and gravity conveyed. The refrigerators move down motorized assembly lines through the specialized charging manifolds and on to the refrigerator constant temperature testing room. Here each refrigerator was individually tested for a minimum of three hours. From the constant temperature testing room, refrigerators were returned to the main production line for final assembly inspection and through the Packing Department for crating. Crated refrigerators were then conveyed to the warehouse storage areas.

The entire assembly line was easily adaptable to job requirements. Ample assembly floor area and flexibility of operation stations make possible a daily production of up to 400 complete units.

Related Articles:

MARVEL THEN AND NOW: 125 Years of American Manufacturing

A look at one of the oldest refrigeration companies in America

then-nowAmerican manufacturing is an industry with great responsibility – to our people, to our planet and to our economy. It’s rooted in handcrafted quality, where craftsmanship is the defining virtue by which all others are measured.

That’s why this year, we celebrate our 125th anniversary with tremendous gratitude. And it’s a feat that we could not have done on our own.

We’d like to thank our customers for choosing us, our partners for keeping us competitive, and our community for its support. And to our employees, thank you for dedicating your time and talents to make our products something we can all be proud of.

Walk down memory lane with us, as we look back in time at the triumphs (and struggles) our company endured since its early years beginning in the late 1800s.

 

Launch our Interactive Timeline or
Read the Full Text Version

Marvel Commemorates 125 Years of American Manufacturing

 

MARVEL THEN AND NOW: 125 Years of American Manufacturing

First founded as Ranney Refrigeration in 1892, Marvel Refrigeration is built on a foundation of over a century of American-made craftsmanship and a long-ranging history of industry breakthroughs.

Since its beginning producing and delivering ice boxes by horse and buggy—to the precise and rapid Dynamic Cooling Technology of today—Marvel continues to innovate with the principles of preservation science at its very core. Trusted by hospitals, medical facilities, government operations and homes across America, Marvel prides itself in cooling technology so precise that it can store anything from delicate food, wine and beverages to biological lab samples.

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Over the years, Marvel supported troops with vital materials for three wars, refreshed sports stadiums, and protected cold storage assets for hospitals and laboratories. And to this day, Marvel continues to enrich homes and institutions across America with award-winning products, innovative performance and impeccable design.

Today, our company stays true to its roots in American history, with a 175,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in the same community it first originated, Greenville, Michigan. We employ over 200 highly-skilled workers, some of whom have family that have worked at our facility for generations.

When you choose Marvel, you’re choosing over 125 years of handcrafted quality and leading innovation in the refrigeration business. You’re choosing American products, and most importantly, you’re choosing the best refrigeration technology available on the market.

Start browsing the new generation of Marvel collections. 

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Marvel Refrigeration upgrades its professional collection

Marvel Refrigeration upgrades its professional collection with bolder aesthetics and features to add more storage versatility and organization

tricolor**UPDATE** New Marvel Professional models are now available to order. Browse the new collection here. 

Greenville, Mich. (January 6, 2017) – This year at KBIS 2017, Marvel Refrigeration will unveil design enhancements to its Marvel Professional undercounter collection to improve aesthetics, storage flexibility and organization.

New features include tri-color lighting, midnight black interiors, smooth ball-bearing glides, split convertible shelving, and complementary organizational accessories (in select models).

All Marvel Professional models are now designed with midnight black interiors and tri-color pro-refrigerated-drawersLED lighting in three color options: sapphire blue, amber glow and arctic white. Integrated controls allow the user to select from full or half interior illumination for a two-stage theater style presentation.

The smooth ball-bearing shelving system glides out to full extension for convenient access to the back of the shelf, without toppling items. Additionally, certain models in the collection now feature 3-in-1 Split Convertible Shelving for hybrid food, beverage or wine storage. Removing one or both glass panes reveals a wine rack capable of partial or full-width storage that holds 7 bottles. And the new Marvel Professional Refrigerated Drawers come with quick-grip dividers that conveniently adjust to organize and secure contents.

To see the new Marvel Professional collection, locate a dealer near you.

AGA Marvel unveils innovative clear ice machine technology with illumination effect and new energy-saving options

New undercounter clear ice machines are a perfect match for top-shelf libations

Greenville, Mich. (September 1, 2016) – Luxury appliance manufacturer AGA Marvel released its new collection of Marvel Clear Ice Machines with Illuminice Lighting and new energy-saving features to conserve up to 25% water and electricity.

Still the quietest and the clearest, Marvel engineered its new clear ice models with design and performance attributes that align with the company’s national consumer research. This resulted in greater operating efficiency, flexible functionality, improved service reliability and a bold aesthetic like no other.  Vivid waterproof LED lighting illuminates clear ice from below, and models are available with sapphire blue or arctic white Illuminice Lighting. And, ice production is now up to 39 pounds of clear ice daily, the equivalent of nearly five convenience-store bags of ice.

“We’re poised to change the way purists and cocktail connoisseurs enjoy fine spirits and beverages,” says brand manager Leah Kalemba.  “Ice quality is a critical component in the composition of a drink, especially with rare, ultra-premium scotch or bourbon. Dilution affects flavor, and the purer the ice, the better a drink tastes as ice melts. Marvel clear ice is unrivaled in clarity, and this new line will certainly elevate the home entertaining experience.”

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Pictured: Marvel Professional Single Zone Wine Cellar paired with the new Marvel Professional Clear Ice Machine with Sapphire Illuminice Lighting

Marvel employs a fractional freezing process to create high-density, slow-melting ice with pristine purity, much like a fine chocolatier tempers chocolate to a solid state for the best quality and flavor. Other clear ice machine brands reuse water run-off with inconsistent and sometimes cloudy results.

Marvel Engineering Director Jim Holland took the physics of ice melting into great consideration when developing the new line, “The ice shape is optimized to provide maximum cool down with minimum dilution. This was accomplished by utilizing a 3/4” cube to maximize the density of ice in the glass to cool the drink quicker, which minimizes melt.”

Other new features include multi-function Marvel Intuit Integrated Controls with intelligent settings and alarms to optimize production rates and ensure ice quality. A full-featured delayed start prevents wasteful water use and Eco Ice mode moderates ice production to a conservative rate to save 25% on utility bills.

And while it’s already the quietest clear ice machine brand, Marvel further improved sound suppression to make this new line of clear ice machines quieter than most dishwashers.

Finish options include stainless steel, black and overlay. Low profile, ADA height models are also available for universal design applications and areas with limited space or thick flooring.

For more information on the new Marvel Clear Ice Machines with Illuminice, call (800) 223-3900 or contact your local dealer.

About Marvel Refrigeration

The benchmark for unrivaled craftsmanship, performance and design, Marvel Refrigeration offers a robust line of innovative food preservation and refrigeration solutions for home and outdoor, and is also the leading choice of world-class sports and entertainment venues, hotels, hospitals and medical facilities and other premium commercial installations across America.  Marvel products are engineered, hand-built, tested and inspected against stringent quality standards in the AGA Marvel manufacturing facility based in Greenville, Michigan.

AGA Marvel is a North American group of The Middleby Corporation, a leading worldwide manufacturer of equipment for the residential kitchen, commercial food service and food processing industries. AGA Marvel employs nearly 200 Michigan workers.  More information about all AGA Marvel products, including AGA, Heartland and Marvel Scientific can be found at agamarvel.com.

Media Contact:

Leah Kalemba
lkalemba@agamarvel.com
(616) 619-5330

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Choose an Energy Efficient Refrigerator from a Company Committed to Sustainability

Did you know that the average house is responsible for about twice the greenhouse gas emissions as the average car? This Earth Day, reduce your carbon footprint with products that have earned the ENERGY STAR label.

By choosing ENERGY STAR products manufactured by a facility with green initiatives in action, you can lessen your impact on emissions while saving energy and money, year after year. As a matter of fact, a household equipped with ENERGY STAR certified products can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 100,000 pounds and save about $9,300 in utility bills, over the products’ lifetimes.  Imagine the difference we can make if more households across America make energy efficiency a priority!

Sustainability is an important part of our daily operations
We take great strides to be environmentally responsible, both in our day to day manufacturing processes and the ENERGY STAR products we offer. Earth Day is the perfect occasion to elaborate on this important focus for us and our customers.

At our Michigan facility, we are ISO 14001 certified for environmental management and continuously strive to further reduce our impact on the environment. Each year, for example, our AGA MARVEL manufacturing facility recycles over one million pounds of material. And, we streamlined manufacturing and material efficiencies to ensure the best use of natural resources.

Our products are designed with green credentials top of mind

  • This year more Marvel Premium Refrigeration products exceed ENERGY STAR standards than the prior year.
  • The Marvel Undercounter Collection is now up to 40% more efficient than the previous generation, including professional-style, outdoor certified and low profile ADA height models.
  • Marvel Wine Cellars are twice as efficient as competing models.

And these are just a few of the ways we here at Marvel Premium Refrigeration celebrate Earth Day, every day.

Celebrate Earth Day with us this April by making a commitment to save energy. Take the ENERGY STAR Pledge at energystar.gov/pledge and help us spread the word.  We can all make a difference and help protect the planet.

ENERGY STAR Refrigerators facts

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Marvel Big Product Reveal A Hit in Vegas at KBIS 2016

To kick off Design and Construction Week at KBIS 2016, Marvel chose the world’s largest kitchen and bath show of the year to make a major statement, debuting three distinctive product releases never before seen on the marketplace. Flocks of designers, builders and editors browsed the new collections, including two live displays of the Marvel Clear Ice Machine with LED light illumination and Eco Mode, our new ultimate 3-in-1 undercounter refrigerator freezer model for outdoor kitchens, and our clever solution for maximizing undercounter freezer storage, capable of holding up to 200 pounds of frozen goods.  Want to know what we were hiding up our sleeves until now?  Read on for the full story.glass-of-clear-ice-350wide

Marvel unveils the industry’s most innovative ice machine technology for dazzling spotlight entertaining

We are pleased to offer an early preview of the industry’s most innovative ice machine technology with dazzling LED light illumination, 30% quieter operation and more features to conserve water and energy! Engineered for unmatched quality, ice clarity and reliability, the new Marvel Clear Ice Machine produces even more clear ice than before with the most pristine clarity available and optimal shape to keep your beverages cooler, longer. What’s more, its new Eco Mode reduces water and energy consumption by 25%.

Coming Fall 2016

The first refrigerator and freezer with ice maker for outdoor kitchensMO24RF-features-graphic

The first of its kind, the Marvel Outdoor Refrigerator and Freezer packs beaucoup features into one dynamic undercounter cold storage solution certified for outdoor performance. Capable of producing up to 7 pounds of ice with the add-on Crescent Ice Maker accessory, it features precise temperature management of the refrigerator and freezer compartments independently, MaxStore roller-glide utility bin to store loose items and cantilevered, adjustable shelving system to adapt the storage configuration as needed. The Dynamic Cooling Technology is tested and proven to cool nearly two times faster than other models, a performance benefit especially important for outdoor kitchens.

Get more details on the Marvel Outdoor Refrigerator Freezer.

 

New Marvel Undercounter Freezer is tested to hold up to 200 lbs of frozen goods!

Looking for maximum freezer storage within easy reach? The new Marvel and Marvel Professional Undercounter Freezers hold up to 200 pounds of frozen items in one beautifully handcrafted, ultra-efficient package. The high-capacity Marvel Professional model features as many as three full-extension commercial-strength chrome baskets with Smooth Glide System™, and the Marvel model offers a durable top shelf constructed of heavy-duty FreshFlo™ steel, designed for efficient air flow and more even temperature. Marvel Intuit™ Integrated Controls ensure precise frost-free temperature management from -6° F to 6° F to keep contents evenly frozen throughout. Available in stainless steel finish or easy-to-install panel ready option.

Get more details on the Marvel Undercounter Freezer and the Marvel Professional Undercounter Freezer.

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DIY Network’s ‘The Vanilla Ice Project’ Spotlights AGA and Marvel Kitchen Appliances

Shortly after learning ‘The Vanilla Ice Project‘ specified a suite of our kitchen appliance for the premier show, our office was inundated with calls from print, radio and television news outlets requesting interviews to cover the story, like this write-up from The Grand Rapids Business Journal.

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grbj-vanilla-ice-project-aga-marvelAppliance maker stars on DIY Network’s ‘The Vanilla Ice Project’

By Mike Nichols

An appliance maker’s kitchen set will star on the DIY Network’s home improvement reality show “The Vanilla Ice Project” on Saturday night.

Greenville-based AGA Marvel said this week that “The Vanilla Ice Project” will feature appliances by the luxury appliance maker on the show’s season premiere at 10:30 p.m.


The episode

The episode, titled “The Killer Kitchen,” is shot in a 3,000-square-foot home on an Olympic water-skiing lake in Lake Worth, Fla.

“Vanilla Ice and his crew flip the bombed-out kitchen and dining room into a state-of-the-art gourmet kitchen,” according to the DIY Network.

The episode features several AGA Marvel kitchen appliances: a three-oven AGA Total Control Range cooker, a 72” Marvel Professional side-by-side refrigerator and freezer and an AGA Professional dishwasher.

The episode, starring host Vanilla Ice, whose real name is Rob Van Winkle, shows the progress of the kitchen renovation.

The kitchen is also taken for a culinary test drive by Vanilla Ice and a local restaurateur, Chef Chris Hirsh. Chef Guy Fieri also makes a guest appearance on the episode.

Request for a kitchen

AGA Marvel found its way onto the show after the show’s producers contacted Leah Clark (Kalemba), AGA Marvel brand manager, regarding a specific request from Van Winkle for the “industry’s largest refrigerator and freezer configuration.”

Continue reading the full article from The Grand Rapids Business Journal…

 

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Options Galore for Cooking and Refrigeration

In their recent Trends Issue, Toronto Home Magazine spotlights our extensive collection of premium cooking and refrigeration appliances and talks to us about kitchen design trends.

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Turn Up the Heat, Turn Down the Heat: Options Galore for Cooking and Refrigeration

Recent design trends have seen homeowners opting for a unified look in their kitchen when they invest in appliances. “There’s a growing preference for no more than two appliance brands in kitchens. This threads the design elements together better,” says Leah Kalemba, media and communications manager for AGA MARVEL.

The company is able to satisfy that demand for cohesive design by offering AGA cookers as well as a full range of appliances under the Marvel brand that includes dishwashers, wine cellars, outdoor fridges, beer dispensers, and ice machines, many of which can be cased or installed in cabinetry or under the counter.

Source: Toronto Home Magazine, Trends Issue (2015)

 

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American Made Luxury Kitchen Appliances (Source: The Daily News)

Look for our feature story on the front page of The Daily News! This detailed company profile offers insight into our legacy and future crafting quality, American made refrigeration products in the community of Greenville, Michigan.

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The community company: AGA MARVEL boasts 123 years of Greenville manufacturing

By Brad Klosner

GREENVILLE
— When it comes to dedication to the community, few companies have been doing it as long as AGA MARVEL. The manufacturer of high-end kitchen appliances has been operating in Greenville for 123 years.

“We’re the oldest refrigeration manufacturer in the United States,” AGA MARVEL President Brad Stauffer said. “We started in 1892 right here in Greenville about five blocks away from where we are now, right on Ranney Drive. The building is still there today.”

Now located on E. Van Deinse, the company manufactures products for both the “hot” end of the kitchen as well as for the “cold.” Although it has changed its name a few times over the years, AGA MARVEL is essentially the same refrigeration company which started in Greenville. It got “hot” after being purchased by Aga Rangemaster, PLC a few years ago.

“You got two worlds,” Stauffer said. “You got AGA, which is the hot, cooking side, and then you got Marvel, which is the food preservation side.”

Most recently, the company has been purchased by Middleby Corp., a food service industry-based company, which is going to only expand AGA MARVEL.

However, they would not have had the opportunity to become as big as they are without a solid foundation of quality products built by quality employees in a quality community for more than 100 years.

Read the full front page feature.

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High-Efficiency Outdoor Kitchens

PRESS RELEASE

Marvel Outdoor Refrigeration now up to 40% more energy-efficient with Dynamic Cooling Technology™ for rapid cool down

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As outdoor kitchens continue to grow in popularity, the Marvel Outdoor Refrigeration Collection expands its assortment of refrigerators, beverage centers, ice machines and draft beer dispensers with more features and more models, all of which exceed current energy standards.

Up to 40% more energy efficient than the previous generation of Marvel Outdoor products, the new Marvel Outdoor Refrigeration Collection features Dynamic Cooling Technology™ for precise temperature stability and efficient cooling performance.

Certified for outdoor use, each Marvel Outdoor unit has been developed and tested to endure the elements, high humidity environments and temperatures up to 115° F.  Each product is built with a durable stainless steel exterior to resist corrosion and commercial-grade power cord for maximum performance in outdoor kitchens.

Additional features include Marvel Prime™ controls for precise, frost-free temperature management, audible alarms for door ajar and high/low temperature to ensure contents stay at optimal temperature, and door locks for added security.

“Each Marvel unit is built in America by expert technicians and undergoes 139 quality checks to ensure delivery of the highest quality products and uphold our reputation for customer satisfaction,“ says Art Bochert, the company’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

The company’s manufacturing facility achieved certifications in ISO 9001 for quality assurance, ISO 14001 for environmental management, and OSHAS 18001 for occupational health and safety from Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance.

The Marvel Outdoor Refrigeration Collection is available through a network of AGA MARVEL authorized dealers throughout North America.

Marvel Outdoor Refrigeration

 

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