The Wahl Clipper Corporation has been at the forefront of personal and professional grooming products for both people and animals since 1919 when the first practical hair clipper was invented. The company currently has more than 3,300 employees worldwide spread across its Sterling, Illinois headquarters, six manufacturing facilities worldwide and eleven sales officers. With a comprehensive range of world-class grooming products characterized by their efficiency, value and integrity, it’s no wonder that Wahl Clipper’s products are distributed and sold in over 160 countries – and counting.
The seeds for the Wahl Clipper Corporation were planted in 1911 when Leo J. Wahl, then a high school junior, conducted experiments on a vibrating electromagnetic motor and then with a vibrating medical massager while an engineering student. He took over his uncle’s business, Wahl Manufacturing Company, and began manufacturing his electromagnetic hair clipper in 1919.
By 1921, Leo purchased his uncle’s business and incorporated it to become the Wahl Clipper Corporation and, thus, started the years of innovation that continue to drive the corporation forward. Leo himself applied for more than 100 patents for his various inventions, a tradition that the current management continues to this day.
Among its innovations are the professional shear sharpeners, hair dryers, and curling brushes as well as attachments for hair clippers in the 1940s; the flexible-blade electric razor, the Vac Clipper (i.e., a clipper with a built-in vacuum hair pick-up), and the permanent magnet type rotary motor clipper incorporated into a new animal clipper in the 1960s; and the first cordless/rechargeable battery-operated hair clipper/trimmer in 1967.
Other innovations include foot and back massagers with features for controlling heat and vibration (1975); battery-operated brow and nose trimmer (1977); Groomsman, a battery-operated facial hair trimmer (1984); and ZeeCurl and FrenZee, a flat-barrel curling iron (1987).
Today, the corporation is among the international industry leaders in the manufacture of professional and personal beauty and barber salon products as well as animal grooming products.