‘A Jacuzzi Is a Person, Not a Machine: The Story Behind the Jacuzzi Family

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Candido Jacuzzi never intended for his last name to become a global brand, but his desire to alleviate his son’s physical pain led to the creation of a business that nearly tore his family apart. The Jacuzzi, known and loved the world over as a vessel of bubbling water, was originally designed with one person in mind—Kenneth Jacuzzi, a young boy suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

The story of the Jacuzzi empire begins with Candido and his six brothers, whose family grew up in Casarsa, a farming community in Northern Italy. Despite their limited finances, the family was held together by their deeply religious parents, Teresa and Giovanni. The family immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s, with the brothers working in various locations across the country to support the family back in Italy.

Eventually settling in California, the brothers established a machine shop in Berkeley in 1915, using their mechanical engineering skills to develop irrigation systems for orchards and deep-well injector pumps for swimming pools. It was during this time that Candido’s son fell ill, and hydrotherapy provided at a local hospital gave them hope for his recovery.

Inspired by the hydrotherapy treatments, Candido and his wife created a pump that could be attached to a bath, allowing their son to experience the benefits of the whirlpool therapy at home. They began selling these units in 1949, eventually expanding their market to include a wide range of consumers—ranging from tired businessmen to frolicking youngsters.

Over the years, the Jacuzzi brand grew in popularity and became a symbol of luxury and relaxation. The company opened factories worldwide and became known for its fiberglass-paneled Jacuzzi pools. However, as the brand became more mainstream, it began to lose its allure and came to represent a bygone era of aspiration.

Today, the Jacuzzi is no longer as coveted and desired as it once was. Its image has been tarnished by concerns about cleanliness and the risk of waterborne illnesses. Additionally, as digital innovations and other luxury goods capture the attention of consumers, the Jacuzzi has lost its status as a symbol of luxury.

In conclusion, the Jacuzzi brand began as a solution to a family’s desire to alleviate their son’s pain. It grew into a global empire but eventually lost its appeal due to changing consumer preferences and concerns about its maintenance. Despite its decline in popularity, the Jacuzzi remains a cultural icon with a rich history.

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