Fisher & Paykel began making washing machines and refrigerators in 1939. Within months, New Zealand declared war on Germany. There were unexpected benefits for the infant manufacturer. With washing machine and fridge manufacture declared an essential industry, the company was protected against closure through lack of raw materials or loss of staff. Production quadrupled in the factory from three washing machines and four refrigerators a day, to 12 a day of each. With the arrival in 1941 of American troops in Auckland, orders increased to 100 washing machines and refrigerators at a time.
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