Incorporated in Wisconsin as the French Battery Company on January 17, 1906. The first products (6-inch cells mostly used to operate telephones and for engine ignition) were made in a Chicago attic. James B. Ramsay (the organizer, pictured on right), Alfred Landau and P.W. Strong were the original Board of Directors. Manufacturing moved to a rented Madison Wisconsin building in March.
First sale of flashlights under the trade name "French Flasher"
"Sales Winner" battery display cabinet is first point-of-sale display
First time the name Ray-O-Vac is used. Ray-O-Vac trademarked for dry batteries used chiefly for vacuum tube radios.
Lindbergh solos across the Atlantic on May 20 in the "Spirit of St. Louis," carrying two Ray-O-Lite flashlights as part of his emergency equipment.
Arthur Wengel, chief electronics engineer, patented the first portable radio with high fidelity reception. Patent offered to industry manufacturers free of charge, to promote battery usage.
Ray-O-Vac officially adopted as company name.
Arthur Wengel patented the first wearable vacuum tube hearing aid. This patent was also offered to the industry to promote battery sales.
World War II. Rayovac establishes seven new plants, boosts employment by 1,000%, wins eight Army-Navy "E" awards for major contribution to victory by supplying the military with nearly half a billion batteries.
Rayovac introduces Crown Cell alkaline batteries for hearing aids, and the highly acclaimed Sportsman™ flashlight.
The Rayovac Hearing Aid Battery plant opens in Portage, Wisconsin.
Rayovac becomes the first U.S. firm to introduce heavy duty all zinc chloride battery, with double the life of zinc carbon batteries then on
Rayovac introduces the Air 2000 hearing aid button cell.
Rayovac introduces the Workhorse® premium flashlight with its
Golfing legend Arnold Palmer uses and becomes the spokesperson for Rayovac Hearing Aid Batteries.
Basketball superstar Michael Jordan becomes the spokesperson
establishing them as a global brand with markets worldwide.
Rayovac acquires European-based battery maker VARTA’s consumer battery business.
Dixon, Illinois becomes becomes the new home of Rayovac’s packaging plant.
Rayovac acquires Remington® Products Company, LLC.
Rayovac relocates corporate headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia.
Rayovac acquires 85% share in Ningbo Baowang, a Chinese battery manufacturing facility.
Rayovac acquires Microlite S.A., a Brazilian battery company.
Rayovac acquires United Industries Corporation, including the brands: Schultz®, Cutter®, Dingo®, Repel®, etc.
Rayovac acquires Tetra® Holding GmbH, a privately-held supplier of fish and aquatics supplies headquartered in Melle, Germany, and the leading global brand in foods, equipment and care products for fish and reptiles, as well as accessories for home aquariums and ponds.
Rayovac changes name to Spectrum Brands and will trade on NYSE
Football MVP Brett Favre Becomes the spokesperson for Rayovac.
Rayovac announces development of revolutionary new Hybrid™ rechargeable technology. “The Best of Both World’s” battery is NiMH and holds a charge like Alkaline, unlike other rechargeable systems.
Rayovac introduces the Ultra Pro line of alkaline batteries that continue to last as long as Duracell® Coppertop™ & Energizer® Max™.
Rayovac’s Fennimore, WI production plant is featured in an episode on the National Geographic show “Factory Floor with Marshall Brian.”
Rayovac Hearing Aid Battery business launches Rayovac Mercury Free hearing aid batteries, continuing its commitment to the environment.
Spectrum Brands merges with Russell Hobbs, adding their well-respected family of small appliance brands, including such notable names as Black & Decker, George Foreman, Littermaid and Toastmaster.