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The Origin of the Kenyon Name Revealed!

One question that often piques curiosity is the origin of our name, Kenyon. Does it belong to the owner, or perhaps linked to Kenyon College? Maybe it’s tied to Kenya […]

Jul 24


One question that often piques curiosity is the origin of our name, Kenyon. Does it belong to the owner, or perhaps linked to Kenyon College? Maybe it’s tied to Kenya in some way? Well, hold on to your hats because the real answer to this intriguing puzzle takes us back over 90 years ago, all the way to the year 1931!



Who is Kenyon? 

Born in 1899, Theodore W. Kenyon was destined to leave an indelible mark on history. In 1931, he founded his own company, starting out as a humble manufacturer of precision instruments for aviation and marine.


Ted Kenyon sitting on Grumman Hellcat Fighter, Worked for Grumman demonstrating auto pilot around the country


The Daredevil Fighter Pilot Wife

Introducing Cecil “Teddy” Kenyon, a daring daredevil who crossed paths with Ted Kenyon at Miss Erskine’s Finishing School in Boston. Their love story soared as Ted taught Teddy to become a fearless pilot. She achieved her license in 1929 and went on to triumph at the National Sports Women Flying Championship in 1933. Teddy’s adventures continued during World War II as she fearlessly test-piloted cutting-edge aircraft. Even in her seventies, her passion for flying remained undaunted!

1940 photograph of the Kenyon’s in their Halloween costumes


Revolutionizing the Industry

Ted’s brilliance knew no bounds. In 1930, he filed his first patent for the boat speedometer, setting the stage for an awe-inspiring journey. Soon, Ted and Teddy embarked on a new chapter, moving to Lyme, Connecticut. In 1953, they founded Kenyon Laboratories, Inc., where they continued to craft marine and aircraft instruments and control equipment.

In the 1950s, Ted and Teddy’s journey took them to Chester Airport, where they spread their wings even further. Here, they not only continued their aviation and marine endeavors but delved into new horizons, creating cooktops and alcohol stoves for boats. Talk about innovation!


Yet, like all great stories, this one had its challenges. In 1961, Kenyon Laboratories faced bankruptcy, but our resilient hero, Ted, pressed on. The company found a new lease on life, selling Gyrostabilizers under the name Ken Lab.


Kenyon’s Legacy Lives On 

In 1974, the stage was set for a remarkable journey when inventor and entrepreneur Phil Williams launched a company called Crosby in St. Petersburg, Florida. His vision and ingenuity gave birth to marine refrigeration systems of his own brilliant design.


As the 1980s dawned, the marine and cooktops business reached new heights under the capable hands of International Marine Industries (IMI). A legendary legacy was set in motion! In 1988, Williams made a bold move, selling his business to IMI and venturing to Connecticut to spearhead Kenyon. Over eight years, he led a team that designed cutting-edge ceramic glass cooktops, refrigeration systems, and a non-pressurized alcohol stove catered to the marine industry.


Then, in 1996, a pivotal moment arrived. Williams and a group of close friends took ownership of Kenyon from IMI. Their belief in the products and the dedicated team fueled their determination to steer the company to greater heights. With around 20 employees and revenue solely tied to the marine industry, they sought diversification. An opportunity arose to create the highest-quality cooking appliance for retirees’ new, smaller homes, and Kenyon responded with pioneering two-burner cooktops that set them apart in the market.


Today, Kenyon International stands tall, a testament to the visionary dreams of its founders. Nestled in Clinton, Connecticut, near the majestic Long Island Sound, the company thrives on innovation, crafting top-notch ceramic glass cooktops and stainless steel electric grills.


Their products bear the mark of excellence, designed with a focus on safety and ease of use, earning them esteemed awards and accolades. The legacy of Ted and Teddy, the daring pioneers of the past, lives on, with Kenyon Grills commanding an impressive 35 percent of the company’s revenue, while their marine products, where it all began, continue to capture 15 percent of the market. From its humble origins to its illustrious present, Kenyon remains a symbol of unwavering dedication to quality and innovation.


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