OXO was founded by Sam Farber, an entrepreneur in the housewares industry, and his son, John Farber. Sam Farber chose the name "OXO" as an ambigram that renders the three letters in "OXO" the same regardless of their orientation, either horizontal or vertically. Noticing that his wife, Betsy, who suffered from mild arthritis in her hands, was having difficulty gripping ordinary kitchen tools, he saw an opportunity to create more comfortable cooking tools that would benefit users. The first group of 15 OXO Good Grips kitchen tools were introduced to the U.S. market at the Gourmet Products Show in San Francisco, California, in 1990.
Sam Farber sold OXO to General Housewares Corporation in 1992. General Housewares Corporation was acquired by Benedick and Co. in 2000. In June 2004, Helen of Troy Limited bought OXO housewares for $273.2 million.
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