Little Giant traces its origins to 1939 when a couple of enterprising Oklahoma City inventors received a patent for their design of a small, submersible motor used for commercial evaporative coolers. Popular at the time, the pump provided cooling in cinemas and other buildings during the hot Oklahoma summers. The submersible motor was a success. In 1941, Little Giant Vaporizer Company began making and marketing the product.
The name Little Giant is an antonym referring to the fact that the product is LITTLE (compared to other similar products at the time) but delivered GIANT performance and benefit to the user.