On January 30, 1928, the father/son team of Frank and Martin Callahan began the independent distributorship which would become Health-Mor, Inc. Initially called Sanitation Systems, Inc., this small distributorship was launched by the Callahans, along with colleague Ray Owen, to market Scott & Fetzer products throughout the Chicago area.
The Callahans worked diligently and aggressively and by May of 1930, the company had become the largest direct selling organization of electric appliances in the city of Chicago. The name was changed to Health-Mor Sanitation Systems, Inc. and the growth-oriented owners began to search for private label products to market under the Health-Mor name. They worked with The P.A. Geier Company to create and market the Health-Mor upright vacuum cleaner.
In 1939, appliance store owner Jon Yonacher was inspired by the power of tornadoes to design a cleaning system based on cyclonic action. He brought the idea to the engineers at P.A. Geier who formed their own organization to design an improved model Filter Queen, which they approved in 1948. Four years later, the Callahans acquired manufacturing rights for the unit, and opened a factory and warehouse in Cleveland, OH.
Distribution of the Filter Queen grew throughout the United States over the next few decades. Improvements in the design and operation of the system continued, and the direct selling method was perfected.
Today, the Filter Queen, and sister product Princess, are marketed in 42 countries around the world. Net sales of Health-Mor, Inc. reached $100 million in 1993, and aggressive growth plans are in place for even greater distribution and sales. In addition to the canister model unit, Health-Mor also markets an upright, called The Princess 2000, along with a similar home enhancement product, the Comfort Lounger. Additionally, the company recently acquired Household Rental Systems, which produces carpet cleaning machines and products, that will be marketed alongside its existing carpet care products.
Despite the changes brought on by dramatic growth, some aspects of the company have remained remarkably similar to their humble beginnings. The Filter Queen remains the primary product of the Consumer Goods Division, and the direct selling concept has proven to be one of significant potential. The Filter Queen itself still operates on the principle of cyclonic action and is marketed primarily on its air filtration benefits. The Callahans would, most definitely, be proud of Health-Mor.
1994 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee