SMEG was founded in 1948 by Vittorio Bertazzoni, Sr. from Guastalla, a town near the city of Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy, and is today one of the country's leading home appliance manufacturers. The Bertazzoni family's entrepreneurial history began in the 19th century, with members of the family starting out as blacksmiths. This long, consolidated family experience working with metals eventually led the Bertazzonis to branch out into kitchen building. Initally focusing on the enameling of metals, SMEG anticipated the so-called "Italian Economic Miracle" of the 1950s and 1960s, and the desire for home comforts that increased affluence would bring, beginning to specialize in home appliance manufacturing just a few years after its founding.
In the second half of the 1950s, SMEG launched one of the first gas cookers with an automatic switch-on function, an oven safety valve, and a cooking programmer/timer. In 1963, the laundry and dishwasher range was launched, and soon produced a world first in 1970: a 60-centimeter, 14-place-setting dishwasher. The mid-1970s heralded the arrival of the very first built-in hobs and ovens, and the establishment of partnerships with internationally-renowned architects and designers. In the 1990s, SMEG added even more products to its various product lines, including sinks, hoods, and colored retro '50s refrigerators, which were soon to become iconic items all over the globe.Having consolidated its position in the home appliance sector, SMEG has branched out into other areas, creating new professional divisions that handle products for restaurants, and instruments for health and medical applications.Today, SMEG is run by the third generation of Bertazzoni entrepreneurs, but it still keeps the memory of its beginnings alive in its Italian name: "Smalterie Metallurgiche Emiliane Guastalla," or the "Guastalla Emilia Enamel Works."