Art Nouveau Lighting Celebrates 100th Anniversary
Celebrating its 100-year anniversary, Progress Lighting is reissuing its Art Nouveau Centennial collection, a grouping that faithfully reproduces the flowering dogwood design of a chandelier manufactured around 1900 by the Gibson Fixture Works of Philadelphia.
Headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., Progress Lighting is a member of the National Council of the Housing Industry — The Supplier 100 of NAHB.
The Art Nouveau collection includes two- and four-light chandeliers, a one-light foyer and a one-light wall bracket.
The collection’s beautiful gaslight-inspired globes feature a Gibson Glass finish with alternating clear and raised etched accents that provide a soft, romantic glow. Gentle scrolls and stylized flower highlights cradle the shades and showcase a Burnished Brass Antique finish.
Progress Lighting says its history is an “American Dream” story. At age 18, Frank Rosen, who had only been in the U.S. for a few years, decided to apply his incredible mechanical skills and open a shop in Philadelphia to make gas mantles. The company was eventually worth $1 million, but it went bankrupt in the 1929 crash.
With five children and a wife to support, Rosen started again in 1932 as Progress Manufacturing Company. His son, Ruben, joined the company in 1933 and became its president in 1938.
With the exception of sporadic military orders, during World War II the company was virtually shut down by a government edict against the manufacture of lighting fixtures not essential to the war effort. After the war, a second son, Maurice, joined Progress as treasurer, and with a degree from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania, he was able to propel the company forward, building the foundation that exists today.
Founded in 1906, Progress Lighting continues to be the largest manufacturer of residential lighting products in North America, offering more than 4,300 lighting products and featuring strategic partnerships with businesses such as Thomasville, Delta and architect Michael Graves.
When asked the secret of the longevity of Progress Lighting and its ability to retain some customers for 80 years or more, Jim Decker, the company’s vice president of brand management, cited customer satisfaction.
“Our loyal customers have allowed us to reach the 100-year mark, so we thank all of our customers who have supported Progress Lighting for so many years,” he said. “They are responsible for helping us grow the business to what it is today.”
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