Now 50 years old, Truck-Lite Co still shines as industry innovator

Fifty years ago, in a garage on the south side of Jamestown NY, George Baldwin and Harry Grosser designed the first sealed marker lamp. Products were made in Baldwin's garage and quality-controlled in his kitchen sink.

Upon seeing Bald-win's products, Fruehauf, then a major trailer manufacturer, decided to buy them. As demand increased, Baldwin eventually moved his operation into a factory, and Truck-Lite Co was born.

The company made the first lamps with bulbs cradled in protective shock mounts. Then came the first sealed wiring harness.

In 1964, the present corporate offices on Elmwood Avenue in Falconer NY were constructed. That same year, the company was sold to Quaker State Oil Refining Corp. In the 1970s and 1980s, Truck-Lite added distribution facilities in Falconer and West Sacramento CA, a molding and distribution plant in McElhattan PA, and manufacturing assembly plants in Coudersport and Wellsboro PA.

Truck-Lite was acquired by Penske Capital Partners in 1997 and became part of the Penske Corp three years later. In mid-2000, Truck-Lite purchased the assets of Raydyot Ltd of Birmingham, England, a major manufacturer of mirrors and lighting. Raydyot launched Truck-Lite into mirror manufacturing and technology.

In March 2002, Truck-Lite acquired the assets of Signal-Stat Lighting Products. In November 2004, Truck-Lite acquired FER Fahrzeugelektrik of Eisenach, Germany, strengthening Truck-Lite's global presence in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Today, Truck-Lite employs about 2,300 people worldwide and has more than 500,000 square feet of floor space.

TAGS: Trailers
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