As is the case with most good American Dream stories, Progress Lighting has seen its share of both soaring highs and stagnant lows. But after 100 years in business, the venerable company has turned its trials into gold, earning itself a solid reputation, the respect of industry peers and license to celebrate its birthday in a big way.
Progress will kick off its year-long centennial anniversary fete at this month’s Dallas Market with a party, a special anniversary logo, a laundry list of buyer incentives and more than 500 product introductions, including the re-issued, gaslight-inspired Art Nouveau Collection. The company will stage smaller events throughout the year.
“To be 100 is almost like a validation of doing things right,” says Paula Powers, Marketing Communications Specialist at Progress. “We have this reputation, yet we are on the edge of current technology and trends, and [our customers] have rewarded us by allowing us to stay in business for so long.”
Contributing to Progress’ success over the years is the legacy of steadfastness left by company founder Frank Rosen. As a young immigrant, Rosen opened Philadelphia’s Victory Lamp Co., a gas mantle manufacturer, in 1906. Although his company failed to survive 1929’s stock market crash, an undeterred Rosen picked himself up and began Progress Manufacturing Co. in 1932.
Throughout the rest of the century, Progress faced such hardships as the Great Depression and World War II with Rosen’s dauntless spirit in tow. That tradition, sweetened with generations of visionary management teams, talented employees, loyal customers, strategic partnerships and trend-conscious product, has led the company to the prestige it enjoys today.