The original Philco company had its roots not in Italy but in the USA when, in 1906 the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company first used the Philco name as a trademark. There followed rapid growth in the burgeoning automotive electrical industry and diversifying into radio and television. Philco are credited with starting the first television station in the USA as well as other accolades ranging from their Iconic radios and telescopic car aerials to communications on defense and space related projects.
They started producing refrigeration and air conditioning products just before the outbreak of WW2 and in 1954 purchased the Bendix and Crossley laundry companies and shortly after founded Philco Italia to give them a presence in Europe and it is appliances made by this arm of the company that we mostly know in the UK.
It is possible that Philco can be credited with producing the first domestic washer drier to make an impact in British households and a Philco appliance could be found in many homes in the 70's and 80's although their owners might not have been aware of the fact as many were branded with the Bendix name. Although the Bendix name was then part of the Thorn Emi company and would soon be sold to the Electrolux company who decided not to continue with Philco produced washing machines in favor of using one of their existing manufacturers. So Bendix became Tricity Bendix.
Another Philco oddity was its acquisition by Ford in the 1960's which for a short while brought the famous Ford logo into the kitchen!
Philco had a reputation for making basic, reliable and solid products that tended to have a longer than average life when compared to some of their competitors. They were also a strong supporter of the independent retail and servicing trade and built up a nationwide service network mainly utilizing small, independent repairers.
A change to their marketing stratergy in the mid 80's saw Philco targeting the major retail outlets and began to produce appliances to suit the lower retail prices and quality and reliability took a downward turn as a result.
They were slowly acquired by the Merloni group (now the Indesit company) and finally taken over completely by 1987.
Although Philco GB launched a range of laundry machines as late as 2001, they were basically Merloni produced mode
ls and shortly after the company stopped using the name altogether. Philco is still, however, a household name in many parts of the world
Spares are still available through the Indesit Company as well as independent service and sales companies and are usually reasonably priced, although many parts are becoming obsolete even for some of the later produced machines.
Any sapres not listed in our online spares store that are still available can be ordered for you.
Generally service information is relatively freely available within the industry for the older models but Indesit company's continued policy of not issuing service information can be a major problem on the later versions. However trade technical support is given by a number of engineers on the UK Whitegoods forum so getting information or help is not too difficult.
Philco Service is officially available from the Indesit Company but most independent repair companies such as those listed in our domestic appliance engineer search are generally only too happy to assist on a Philco machine.
Recently however the Philco brand was briefly reintroduced by the Hi Group, presumably under license until the HI Group entered into administration in September 2012 leaving the fate of the Philco brand once more uncertain in the UK.
The new products that did appear seemed to be yet more rebranded from various other manufacturers.