The PODAB History

1945 - 2020 Timeline

This year PODAB is turning 75 years. PODAB was founded in 1945 in Gothenburg, Sweden and the head office is still situated in the same city today. In celebration of our 75 years in business, we have dug deep into our history boxes. We have collected interesting information and fun pictures that we have assembled into a timeline. Join us as we dive into PODABs history and take a look at the industry back in the days!

1945 - 1950

  • PODAB was founded by Victor Petterson, Berthold Olsson and the brothers Vilgot och Harry Dahlin in Gothenburg, Sweden. Their initials formed the company name.

  • The company’s concept for the future laundry room was to create user friendly and affordable machines with a smart and elegant construction and design. Light metal was used to build the washing machines to reduce the weight and dimensions. 

  • In 1946, PODAB presented their machines at the Swedish fair which resulted in good sales and a new network of retailers around the country. 

  • Production capacity increased. More than 1000 machines were manufactured in the factory and the product range expanded. 

  • A comprehensive service network was built, all sold machines were registered and the machine’s essential data was recorded. 

  • PODABs factory in Gothenburg
  • PODABs ad in "Svenska Dagbladet" 1948
  • PODABs ad in "Svenska Dagbladet" 1949

1950 - 1960

  • PODAB was among the first to start selling automatic washing machines with centrifuges. Automatic washing machines were completely new on the market.

  • The top modern washing machines were equipped with a reversible drum, a lockable lid construction and were loaded from above. The reversing drum gave maximum washing effect, something PODAB was known for. 

  • The machines were made from high-quality stainless steel. 

  • From PODABs catalog in the 50s
  • From PODABs catalog in the 50s
  • PODABs ad in "Svenska Dagbladet" 1950

1960 - 1970

  • Carl Johan Sellberg bought the business in 1963 and moved it from Mölndal to Partille. 

  • It was decided that PODAB would focus solely on professional laundry equipment for the commercial market.

  • PODAB had around 100 employees in the 60s. 

  • From PODABs catalog in the 60s
  • From PODABs catalog in the 60s

1970 - 1980

  • A large factory was built in Bollebygd where PODAB was able to manufacture its own machines. 

  • PODABs washing machine, TM 5070, was very popular during the 60s and 70s and sold worldwide. 

  • In the late 70s, times got harder and the company had to move to smaller premises in Högsbo and end all its in-house production. Instead, PODAB became a professional laundry equipment reseller.

  • PODABs factory in the 70s
  • Product sheet from the 70s
  • From PODABs catalog in the 70s
  • From PODABs catalog in the 70s

1980 - 1990

  • Robert Sellberg, Carl Johan’s son, took over the business. 

  • PODAB became the first company in Sweden to sell a complete range of energy efficient products equipped with heat pump technology. It was a success!

  • The partnership with IPSO began. ISPO is part of Alliance Laundry Systems, the world’s largest manufacturer of professional laundry equipment.

  • Robert Sellberg in the 80s
  • From PODABs brochure in the 80s
  • PODAB washing machine 5070 and PODAB centrifuge 40
  • From PODABs brochure in the 80s

1990 - 2000

  • PODAB bought the property in Sisjön, which is where the head office still is today.

  • In the early 90s, PODAB developed some of its own products such as drying cabinets, mangles, and centrifuges.

  • PODAB introduced an extended warranty on the products (2-5 years warranty). 

  • An upgrade guarantee was also introduced, which included free software upgrades on the machines throughout their lifespan.

  • In the late 1990s, the first custom built drying cabinet for protective garments was developed. Today our drying cabinets can be found at fire stations all around the world. 

  • From PODABs brochure in the 90s
  • Invitation to product display in 1992
  • Protective Garments Drying Cabinet FC 20

2000 - 2010

  • PODAB started its partnership with Schulthess in 2003 and began selling high-quality Swiss products.

  • In the early 2000s, PODAB also began manufacturing custom-designed products at Agrippa (now Alumbra) in the south of Sweden. 

  • A sales office opened in Sweden's captial, Stockholm and a subsidiary opened in Sarasota, Florida in the United States. 

  • The production of drying cabinets, mangles, centrifuges, and accessories was moved to Agrippa (now Alumbra) and investments were made on product development. 

  • Schulthess Maschinen office
  • Brochure StreamLine 2003
  • From PODABs catalog in 2008

2010 - 2020

  • PODAB’s plan for the future was launched. The focus was shifted from product-oriented thinking to customer-benefit thinking. 

  • PODAB began its partnership with Primus. With the help of Primus, PODAB carried out its biggest campaign to date, a roadshow across Sweden, in which PODAB met over 1200 customers. 

  • In 2013, PODAB became Schulthess biggest distributor.

  • The drying cabinets TS 63 and TS 93 were launched. 

  • PODAB set a new industry standard with the launch of a new website and constant presence on social media. 

  • In 2019, PODAB became ISO- certified. 

  • A record high average of 4,40 of 5 in total customer satisfaction was reached (measured in Sweden). 

  • In 2020, PODAB will turn 75 years and the head office properties in Gothenburg will be merged into one building and renovated. 

  • PODABs head office in Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Professional Laundry Equipment from PODAB
  • Professional Laundry Equipment from PODAB
  • Professional Laundry Equipment from PODAB

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