- Lee B. Thomas, with a group of investors, acquired a residential lighting fixture company from the Moe family of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. In 1949, the company’s name was changed from Moe Brothers to Moe Light, Inc.
- Lighting fixture production expanded with the purchase of the Star Lighting Fixture Company of Los Angeles, California and the opening of a residential lighting factory in Princeton, Kentucky.
- Moe Light, Inc. was merged into the Electric Sprayit Company of Sheboygan, Wisconsin; a paint sprayer manufacturer and the name was changed to Thomas Industries, Inc.
- Thomas Industries Incorporated moved its headquarters to Louisville, Kentucky.
- Thomas Industries acquired the Benjamin Electric Company and C&M Products of Canada.
- Thomas Industries’ stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Throughout the sixties and seventies, Thomas continued to diversify its product lines, acquiring companies that manufactured a wide range of products from paint brushes to central vacuum systems.
- Thomas entered into a joint venture with ASF GmbH & Co KG, a major player in air compressor and vacuum pump technologies.
- Thomas realigned its operating divisions into two groups and defined a long-range goal of concentrating on its two core businesses: Lighting and Compressors/Vacuum Pumps. Non-core businesses were divested.
- In the company’s 50th year, Thomas Industries and the Genlyte Group entered into a joint venture, creating Genlyte Thomas Group LLC.
- Thomas Industries, Inc. announced another major acquisition of Werner Rietschle GmbH + Co. KG, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of precision-engineered pumps and compressors, creating Rietschle Thomas.
Gardner Denver, Inc
., the leading manufacturer of compressed air, gas, vacuum and fluid transfer technologies worldwide acquires Thomas Industries, Inc. OEM pump technologies are now consolidated in Thomas Division.
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