1911 The road which lead to the creation of the Wahl Clipper Corporation began when Sterling High School junior, Leo J. Wahl, experimented with a vibrating electromagnetic motor. Later as an engineering student at the University of Illinois, Leo Wahl designed a vibrating medical massager for his uncle J. Frank Wahl, who began manufacturing the massagers ina small plant in Sterling, Illinois. Leo spent his spare time selling these massagers to barbershops, where he recognized the need to improve barber tools. When his uncle was called into service during the Mexican Revolution, Leo Wahl took over the manufacturing business and began experimenting on a new electric hair clipper.
1919 On October 14, Leo J. Wahl applied for patents on his newly developed electromagnetic hair clipper, and manufacturing began at the Wahl Manufacturing Company. It was the first practical clipper with the drive motor in the hand, rather than connected to a separate motor through a flexible shaft. By the end of 1920, his factory had manufactured and sold thousands of clippers to barbers all over the United States. In these early years, Mr. Wahl concentrated on working directly with barbers to improve the efficiency and convenience of his hair clipper.
1921 On February 2, Leo J. Wahl, having received a patent on his new hair clipper, purchased 100% of the Wahl Manufacturing Company stock and renamed and incorporated the business as the Wahl Clipper Corporation. Growth was rapid, financed from manufacturing earnings and patent royalties.