Our Business of the Month, Mira Showers (Kohler Mira Ltd) is the company responsible for producing the world’s first thermostatic shower.
The company was first established in London. It formed a base in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire in its early days and remains there today, (sites also at Gloucester, Wolverhampton and a factory in Hull, Humberside). The business was privately owned by members of the Walker family who originally manufactured the Leonard shower mixer valves that were used widely in industry, schools and hospitals.
In 1959, the Leonard 722 (one from the company’s original Leonard brand) was introduced. This was the first thermostatic mixing valve designed to control water temperature and flow under UK pressure conditions.
After 42 years the Leonard brand was retired and replaced by Mira Thermostatic. The company itself has had a few name changes since the original Walker, Crosweller and Co (est:1921). It became a subsidiary company in 1963 and was bought out in 1974, and in efforts to up the ante perhaps, was sold on three times and now rests in the hands of billionaire Herbert Kohler Jr CEO of Wisconsin-based Kohler .
Kohler is another long ago established business and a global leader in the bathroom (and kitchen) industry, so this is in some way a natural pairing. Plumbing is not that boring actually, it is a trend setter in interior design, and, as the history of Mira Showers demonstrates, it is big business. The strength the company has shown to stay afloat in this competitive market signifies real achievement.
Mira Showers has always been a key player and a leader in domestic showers and shower/bathroom type accessories, the first instant electric shower (Miralec) was produced in the UK in 1974 and now there is varied choices available to retail and trade alike, in the form of Adept and Agile Mixer shower ranges, the Azora electric shower, and the Mira Flight shower trays providing an ultra-sleek look with no pattern (raiser kits available), to name a few. Pumps, thermostatic shower valves, taps and accessories are all designed to provide clever and full function, durability and reliability.
Technological gadgetry in our homes is not something that will feature in time; because it is already here. Budget wise the introduction of control systems operated from a handheld device, operating advanced, often concealed technology in their houses, is beyond the means for many right now. Architects, builders and designers, are increasingly mindful, when planning for new builds or home improvements, of ideas around installing networks that are adaptable as technology advances further. The company’s own industry related blog reveals the emphasis the professional team are putting on the continued role of digital technology for future innovations. And right now Mira’s Digital Shower collection to work with a variety of water systems includes Platinum, Vier, Vision and Vision Flex – all wireless controlled showers with simultaneous type functions.
Full product ranges, Installation guides and advice from experts is available to view on the website