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Robert Lappin
Founder, Shetland
D.O.B. - D.O.D. unknown

Shetland, a subsidary of Signal Manufacturing Company, formed in 1949 under the direction of Robert Lappin, was marketing a polisher used for floors and polishing cars, a drill, and sander. However, in 1952 silicone finishes killed the appeal of that market, so Shetland began marketing twin brush floor polishers. They then added a wax dispenser, followed by a dispenser for carpet shampoo solution. In 1960, they entered the vacuum industry with a lightweight vacuum that also washed and dried floors. In 1961 a model without the washer/dryer feature was introduced and at $29.95 retail was an instant success. In 1961, Shetland also acquired the Lewyt Company and introduced a canister under the label Shetland-Lewyt. By 1966 Shetland-Lewyt’s product line included 8 units, all different in color and design. By 1967 Shetland-Lewyt was the largest manufacturer of electric shampooers in the nation and had become a factor in the lightweight cleaner and low-end canister market. Shetland-Lewyt was again sold, and became the Shetland-Lewyt division of the SCM Corporation. The Proctor-Silex Division of SCM manufactured a line of table top appliances that were introduced under the Shetland-Lewyt label. In 1972 SCM discontinued the Shetland-Lewyt division and put it up for sale. The company was purchased and moved to Canada where it still operates today selling product in the Canadian marketplace.

1994 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee