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Culligan History

The Story Behind Water Softening

Since 1921, the Culligan name has been synonymous with better water. Learn more about our innovative, exciting beginning.

Early Softener

1921

Early Softener

1921 Emmett Culligan builds a homemade water softener using two coffee cans and zeolite sand.

Culligan Water Company

1936

Culligan Water Company

1936 Culligan opens in Northbrook, Illinois.

Portable Exchange Softener

1938

Portable Exchange Softener

Culligan introduces the portable exchange (PE) water softener by innovating lightweight tanks and carts.

World War II

1942

World War II

The government asks Culligan to produce silica gel, used to dehumidify moisture sensitive equipment.

Hey Culligan Man!

1953

Hey Culligan Man!

The “Hey, Culligan Man” concept is conceived.

Culligan Expands International

1966

Culligan Expands International

The International convention was held in Berlin and welcomed 250 delegates from 19 countries.

Drinking Water System

1967

Drinking Water System

Culligan introduces the first mass-produced reverse osmosis water treatment system.

50th Anniversary

1986

50th Anniversary

Culligan celebrates 50 years in business.

Bottled Water

1988

Bottled Water

Culligan made its move into bottled water for home and office, adding bottle delivery for customers.

Consumer Digest Best Buy

2003

Consumer Digest Best Buy

The Gold softener sets new efficiency standards and becomes Culligan’s highest volume softener.

Aqua Cleer Launched

2008

Aqua Cleer Launched

The Aqua Cleer RO has more than 100 configurations that allow customization for most water conditions.

HE Softeners and Filters

2010

HE Softeners and Filters

Culligan releases the the Culligan® HE, the World’s most efficient water softener.

ClearLink PRO

2018

ClearLink PRO

The ClearLink PRO:tm: is Culligan’s newest reverse osmosis water system accessory that works to get you cleaner, better-tasting drinking water at the touch of a button.

Tankless Reverse Osmosis

2019

Tankless Reverse Osmosis

The high-quality water you want with the space-saving design your home needs.

Salt-free Conditioner

2020

Salt-free Conditioner

Uses a technology that naturally conditions water and minimizes scaling without the need for backflushing or salt.