Argo’s History

Argo was established in 1929 in Cavaria, a small village near the town of Gallarate in the province of Varese. Right from the start, Argo showed an outstanding aptitude for the development of innovative products. From the company’s inception and right through the post-war period, the Argo brand has distinguished itself in the field of domestic heating products.

Communication has always been one of Argo’s priorities. In those years, cinema commercials were one of the best ways to make contact with young couples and newly-formed families. Here’s one example of a cinema ad which we recovered from our historical archives: the advert talks about the daily inconvenience of having to load the stove up with coal and take away the ashes and about the fact that it was very hot right next to the stove and very cold when you moved away from it… but with the new high-yield Argo stove with convectional heating and a cleaning system that doesn’t require opening the stove door, all these problems were finally solved. have a look at the ad –>

With the advent of television, Argo created two characters, Bill and Bull who became famous in the Italian Rai TV advertising programme called Carosello, which was much loved by children and adults alike. Here are some of the clips which we have recovered from our historical archives and converted into modern video format. You can find them all on argoclimaTV, the Argo channel on youtube.

The clip on the left was shown on the Rai TV Carosello and tells the story of Bill and his faithful canine friend, Bull, in a Far West adventure with a happy ending.

The clip below is more recent and already talks about window air conditioners, which were the first ones to be used in shops and offices. Sometimes they were wall-mounted and sometimes they had wheels allowing them to be moved from one room to another… the forerunner of today’s portable air-conditioners.

We are now in the ’60s and colour TV has arrived also in Italy and Argo launches on the market its legendary window air-conditioner called “il Ferma Caldo” (the “Heat Stopper”), which is available in various finishings for wall-mounting or use on wheels.

Argo continues its progress in the field of heating and air-conditioning with enormous success and its products become an integral part of Italian family homes as well as offices, shops, restaurants and public places, etc.. Argo becomes an Italian household name and finds a solution to fit everyone’s needs, keeping up with the latest available technologies and paying great attention to design details and quality. Even today, it is easy to find Argo products still in working condition, such as oil and gas boilers, cast iron radiators, gas and paraffin heaters, hundreds of gas cylinder, catalytic, electric and infra-red heaters and a lot of air-conditioners of every type.

The great, air-conditioning adventure starts towards the end of the ’80s when the ownership of the company is taken over by the Nocivelli family and a decision is made that it is time to invest in preparation for the imminent boom in the air-conditioning market. The factory in Gallarate utilizes the power of modern technologies in the fabrication and production of aluminium/copper heat exchangers. The new factory is equipped with robots for automatic welding, state-of-the-art painting systems, and sound-proofed metal presses to create highly efficient production lines that maximize flexibility and ensure the highest of quality standards. Research and development is also re-organised to keep up with emerging technologies and modern, computer-based research and development techniques. Four new calorimeters featuring different characteristics are installed and used to research new thermo-dynamic solutions and develop state-of-the-art products.
In 1991 Argo is ready to launch its portable air-conditioners and split air-conditioners (also called “fixed air-conditioners”), which feature compactness, low noise and quality materials.

Here for you again is the famous Pharaoh, “make way for Argo” advert which was aired on national networks in 1998, an extract from the telepromotions with the famous presenter Funari and mighty Mike Bongiorno who talks to Argo’s sales staff before the telepromotions in the “Wheel of Fortune” TV quiz. Even today many products refer to concepts and designs developed in that period, which demonstrates the advanced thinking that inspired Argo products.

With the advent of the new millennium Argo embarks on renewal to emphasize even more its innovative streak in the field of climate control, heating and air-conditioning, and makes a promise: to manufacture products that improve the quality of our everyday life. The “improve your life” pay-off opens up new prospects in communication, that are better suited to the globalized world and new media and paves the way to the introduction of new product categories in areas related to the brand’s traditional core business.
From 2000 to 2005, Argo was involved in sport sponsorships with some of Italy’s great champions, including Loris Capirossi and the great Milan Football Club.

The now-famous Xfetto was launched in 2005. This climate control system has no outdoor unit, is multi-functional and protected by the Argo 261.412 patent. It is capable of cooling, heating and de-humidifying and can be connected to the house boiler during the winter to work like a normal radiator. The TV advertising campaign brought Argo’s Xfetto into all Italian homes with a fresh and engaging TV ad. Let’s take another look at it…

It is now 2008 and Argo boasts a range of products providing solutions for the home, small offices as well as large shopping centers, airports and industries. These range from the smallest, ready-to-use climate control systems to the extra-large VRF inverter systems, mono- and multi-split inverters and wall-mounted boilers for apartments, as well as modular heating systems of up to one million watts, that can work with refrigerating units made by Technibel, Argo’s sister company belonging to the same Argoclima Group. 2008 is also the year Argo introduces the brand new FullDCInverter SVPWM 180° technology to the market, which was developed from start to finish in Argo’s Italian laboratories. This technology is incredibly energy efficient. For example, the 8 Series – an extremely stylish, FullDCInverter wall-mounted split with Italian technology at its heart – reduces energy consumption to 254 watts, half the consumption of a typical halogen bulb.
Here we are now in 2010 and we look forward to telling you the next part of the story as it unfolds…