Culligan History

Culligan has been improving water for over 80 years.

The Story Behind Water Softening

Since 1921, the Culligan name has been synonymous with better water. Learn more about our innovative, exciting beginning.
1921
Early Softener
Emmett Culligan builds a homemade water softener using two coffee cans and zeolite sand.
1936
Culligan Water Company
Culligan opens in Northbrook, Illinois.
1938
Portable Exchange Softener
Culligan introduces the portable exchange (PE) water softener by innovating lightweight tanks and carts.
1942
World War II
The government asks Culligan to produce silica gel, used to dehumidify moisture sensitive equipment.
1953
Hey Culligan Man!
The "Hey, Culligan Man" concept is conceived.
1961
25th Anniversary
Culligan celebrates its 25th anniversary. Northbrook, Illinois temporarily renames itself "Culliganville."
1966
Culligan Expands International
The International convention was held in Berlin and welcomed 250 delegates from 19 countries.
1967
Drinking Water System
Culligan introduces the first mass-produced reverse osmosis water treatment system.
1986
50th Anniversary
Culligan celebrates 50 years in business.
1988
Bottled Water
Culligan made its move into bottled water for home and office, adding bottle delivery for customers.
2003
Consumer Digest Best Buy
The Gold softener sets new efficiency standards and becomes Culligan’s highest volume softener.
2008
Aqua Cleer Launched
The Aqua Cleer RO has more than 100 configurations that allow customization for most water conditions.
2010
HE Softeners and Filters
Culligan releases the the Culligan® HE, the World’s most efficient water softener.
Learn more about how you can have better water.

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What Clients Say
Getting set up with Culligan drinking water was a great experience starting with meeting John in the store where he educated us on the Culligan water system and what we needed to have in our home. When the time for the installation came it was a fairly quick process (2 hours or so) and everything went very smoothly. Using the water has also been a great experience. Coming from Lake Michigan water we weren't sure exactly how the water would taste or feel. Thankfully it has exceeded our expectations. Drinking the reverse osmosis water is very comparable to drinking Lake Michigan water and using the soft water for things like dishes or washing clothes is pleasant and doesn't leave an odor behind.
Culligan Customer
Christopher Pinski
- Culligan Customer