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
The people are the BEST. They accurately diagnosed why our water was always brown, despite numerous efforts and months working with our previous water softener supplier without success, and they efficiently, professionally, and effectively solved ALL of our water problems in short order. The technician who serviced us was outstanding and explained everything in detail that was easy to understand. The system they installed works flawlessly, and the app that is part of it gives us feedback and alerts the company if any problem occurs, even before we might notice it. I strongly recommend Culligan Rice Lake for any and all of your water problems; they certainly solved all of ours!
Culligan Customer
Rick Bland
- Culligan Customer