SMEG was founded in 1948 by Vittorio Bertazzoni, Sr. from Guastalla, a town near the city of Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy, and is today one of the country's leading home appliance manufacturers. The Bertazzoni family's entrepreneurial history began in the 19th century, with members of the family starting out as blacksmiths. This long, consolidated family experience working with metals eventually led the Bertazzonis to branch out into kitchen building. Initally focusing on the enameling of metals, SMEG anticipated the so-called "Italian Economic Miracle" of the 1950s and 1960s, and the desire for home comforts that increased affluence would bring, beginning to specialize in home appliance manufacturing just a few years after its founding.
In the second half of the 1950s, SMEG launched one of the first gas cookers with an automatic switch-on function, an oven safety valve, and a cooking programmer/timer. In 1963, the laundry and dishwasher range was launched, and soon produced a world first in 1970: a 60-centimeter, 14-place-setting dishwasher. The mid-1970s heralded the arrival of the very first built-in hobs and ovens, and the establishment of partnerships with internationally-renowned architects and designers. In the 1990s, SMEG added even more products to its various product lines, including sinks, hoods, and colored retro '50s refrigerators, which were soon to become iconic items all over the globe.
Having consolidated its position in the home appliance sector, SMEG has branched out into other areas, creating new professional divisions that handle products for restaurants, and instruments for health and medical applications.Today, SMEG is run by the third generation of Bertazzoni entrepreneurs, but it still keeps the memory of its beginnings alive in its Italian name: "Smalterie Metallurgiche Emiliane Guastalla," or the "Guastalla Emilia Enamel Works."
Symbolic objects, icons that transform the space that they occupy, the new '50s Retro-Style small appliances recall the past. They are capable of shaping everyday spaces, they breathe new life into old ways and preceding habits, such as is the way in art and memory.
Curved and compact products, star characters of the kitchen, developed for people who want to dabble at being a chef, but maybe not only dabble. From the 2 and 4-slice toasters, to the standard or variable temperature kettles, to the blender and stand mixer, SMEG Small Domestic Appliances, realized in collaboration with architects Matteo Bazzicalupo and Raffaella Mangiarotti from deepdesign, are tools that ensure excellent performance in all stages of food preparation, and have powerful personalities to match.
Style, for SMEG, is a distinct concept: the way a product communicates with its surroundings and enables users to interact with it. Attention to detail and design solutions bring to life homes that reflect the image of their occupants.
With SMEG, appliances take center stage in the heart of the home, a place where people can congregate. The kitchen integrates all of their functions, and becomes a perfect, fully-equipped backdrop for those precious and enjoyable moments.SMEG's internal design studio, which carries out painstaking research into aesthetics and style, has the support of internationally-renowned architects such as Guido Canali, Mario Bellini, the Piano Design studio, Marc Newson, and Giancarlo Candeago. Knowing how to combine technology with style is the key for SMEG in creating products which become truly iconic.
SMEG has received a number of important prizes and awards over the years from leading institutions and international magazines as a result of its deep understanding of aesthetics and the quality of its appliances.
Modena Domotics Competition: in 2007, SMEG won the Modena Domotics Competition for its HQ, named one of the most innovative sites in Italy thanks to its intelligent consumption management, and it being an example of sustainable development policies in action.
Dedalo and Minosse International Prize: in 2008, SMEG won this competition, organized by an Italian association of professional architects, ALA Assoarchitetti, for the architectural design of SMEG's company HQ.
Wallpaper Design Award: in 2009, the oven and hob from the Newson range received the Best Domestic Appliance Award from the illustrious international magazine, Wallpaper*.
Good Design Awards: each year, the Chicago Athenaeum Museum (museum of architecture and design) and the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design, and Urban Studies give prestigious “Good Design Awards” to products that are recognized for their design excellence – products that can enrich society and people’s lives through their designs:
- 2010 award for the Marc Newson-designed oven and gas hob
- 2012 award for the PVB750-2E “concept” gas hob
- 2013 award for the SFP140 Linea aesthetic oven, and for the SMEG500 refrigerator, the result of a collaboration between SMEG and FIAT.
SMEG South Africa - Business Enterprise of the Year 2013: The First National Bank and the Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries awarded a prestigious prize to SMEG's South African subsidiary in recognition of its entrepreneurial excellence.