Thorn celebrates 90th anniversary

Jules Thorn, who founded Thorn Lighting 90 years ago.

(UK) – The lighting manufacturer celebrated the milestone anniversary in March 2018.

On 29 March, Thorn Lighting celebrated its 90th anniversary. Over the past nine decades, the manufacturer has firmly established itself within the lighting industry, and is known for its smart and reliable, high-performance lighting solutions.

Austrian-born Jules Thorn founded the company in March 1928 with a mission to make great lighting easy. Thorn first came to Britain as a sales rep for a company making gas mantles, but soon decided to set up his own company, launching the Electric Lamp Service Company.

Lou Bedocs, Lighting Applications Advisor at Thorn and one of the company’s longest-serving employees, said: “Everybody thought Jules was mad when he decided to build a 30-million-a-year capacity lamp factory. But he went ahead and built more than 70 factories around the world, not just for lamps but also for luminaires, control gears and lighting accessories. Now 90 years later, we can look back on a true pioneer who left his mark on the world of industry.”

The new company grew from servicing lamps to manufacturing, before later diversifying into luminaires, domestic appliances, TVs and radios. In 1936, under the new name Thorn Electrical Industries Ltd, the company floated on the London Stock Exchange, and by 1959 it was the tenth biggest company in the UK.

The company continued to grow throughout the 20th century, before joining the Zumtobel Group in 2000, positioning it for further global growth and strengthening its outdoor and sports lighting portfolios.

Today, the company is a multi-award winning lighting supplier, developing and designing lighting solutions for offices, shops, schools, universities and industrial sites all over the world, and is moving into the world of digitalisation, becoming a partner of smart city initiatives such as DOLL (the Danish Outdoor Lighting Lab) and LUCI (Lighting Urban Community International).

Paul Coggins, SVP Northern Europe, said: “We are immensely proud of our heritage at Thorn. Since Jules Thorn set up the company 90 years ago we have been pushing technology forward to produce the very best solutions for our customers.

“Our 90th anniversary is a time to look back on all the inspiring moments and stories in our history, but it’s also a brilliant opportunity to look ahead. Going forward we will continue to develop technologically advanced solutions for our core markets and segments.

“In addition the services on offer via Zumtobel Group Services will enable us to be the best placed to manage the lit environment, optimising user experience and maximising the opportunities that lie ahead in a connected world.”