O.C. White Co.
In 1883 Dr Otis C. White, a dental surgeon from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, obtained the first of many patents for his adjustable joints, which included a dental headrest and a universal ball and socket joint. These inventions garnered numerous technological awards, including The John Scott Medal (awarded by the Franklin Institute), and the “Gold”, “Silver”, and “Honorable Mention” medals at the 1893 Pan American Exposition (precursor to the World’s Fair). These same universal ball and socket joints can still be found in use today in various “Machine Lite” products in the O.C. White line.
In 1894, the company became a Massachusetts corporation producing gas light fixtures. Less than a decade later, with the introduction of the “Mazda lamp”. The factory turned its attention to the field of adjustable electric lighting fixtures and was the original pioneer in the field of adjustable task lamps and machine lighting. In 1901, Mr Otis C. White Jr. became president of the firm, and oversaw all operations until the early ’50s.
In 1939, fluorescent lamp technology was introduced, and O.C White began to design lamps for desk use, physician’s exam units, hospital floor lamps, and fixtures for the stitching trade.
In the 1950s, O.C. White became the dominant producer of OEM Machine Lighting for the American machine builders, such as New Britain Machine, Cincinnati Machine, Bryant, and many other manufacturers. O.C. White arm assemblies were also used in mass quantity for other manufacturers’ own lines of fixtures.
In 1956 the company introduced its illuminated magnifiers as well as its famous adjustable broadcast arms. The original factory was located in Worcester, Massachusetts, which was one of the early hubs of industry, and was utilized until 1980 when the factory moved to a new location.
In 1964 Robert L. May became President and owner of the firm after twenty years of lighting experience with Sylvania Electric, Westinghouse Electric and then as a manufacturer’s representative for O.C. White.
Today under its new President, Richard L. May, who has over forty years experience in the lighting field, the company has again moved to its new location in a renovated (1920), 72,000 sq. foot brick building in Thorndike, Massachusetts.
Considered the World’s Oldest Industrial Lighting manufacturer, O.C. White has earned an unparalleled reputation for the quality of its superior products and fixtures. It is not unusual to find the company’s early fixtures in high-end antique shops where high prices are demanded unique products.
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