You may have heard of Sylvania, but Osram Sylvania? Surprisingly, before the two companies merged in 1993, each firm had an extensive history in providing lighting solutions and more.
Sylvania formed in 1901 as a small company in Massachusetts that revitalized burned-out light bulbs by replacing the filaments. The company grew, moved, and took on additional partners, all the while expanding their expertise to offer carbon-filament and tungsten-filament bulbs. By 1916, a new plant started manufacturing 16,000 bulbs a day.
Around the same time Sylvania was getting started, the Osram name was registered in Europe, a name derived from osmium and wolfram, the German word for tungsten. The company was formed in 1919 after a merger among three firms, all of which had pioneered electric lighting. After WW II, the company helped rebuild Europe, expanded its materials production, and opened several new plants. Its headquarters relocated to Munich in the mid-1950’s.
Both companies continued to grow and expand product offerings as electric products became ubiquitous in the U.S. and abroad. Sylvania was noted for its ground-breaking work in developing receiving tubes for early radios and florescent lamps. Late in the 50’s, Sylvania merged with General Telephone to become GTE. By the 70’s and 80’s the company had moved away from consumer electronics to produce precision materials.
In more recent history, both companies focused on energy efficiency and longer bulb life. Developments in discharge lamp and compact florescent technologies were notable innovations. Osram Sylvania celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2001 and continues to be a leader in lighting technology and precision materials worldwide.
The firm boasts 22 manufacturing plants and 12 research labs, and employs 35,000 people in its Osram Munich headquarters alone. Its worldwide research facility in Massachusetts is on the cutting edge of new developments in plasma physics, optics, thermodynamics, ceramics and more.
Whether you’re doing surgery with a neurosurgical lamp or lighting the world’s tallest buildings, Osram Sylvania has a lighting solution.