Open Access Articles- Top Results for Artcraft Fluorescent Lighting Corporation

Artcraft Fluorescent Lighting Corporation

Artcraft Fluorescent Lighting Corporation
Industry Lighting (Ranked #2 - Fluorescent fixtures - 1939-1954)[1]
Founded 1939 - 2002 (63 years)
Headquarters Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States
Number of locations
New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, Washington, DC
Area served
United States (mostly east of the Mississippi)
Key people
Louis Levy, President</td></tr>
Products Fluorescent fixtures, Neon Signs, Electric Fans</td></tr>
Revenue 11pxUS$ (In 1947) 2 million annually, ($50 million annually in today's terms)[2]</td></tr>
Number of employees

11px200 approximately See visitor traffic to this page last month.</td></tr></table>

Artcraft Fluorescent Lighting Corporation[3] was one of the three most influential business forces in fluorescent lighting fixture development and production in the United States from the commercial introduction of the fluorescent lamp at the 1939 World's Fair and was the pioneer of hidden showcase lighting in the world.[4] They were considered the "Cadillac" of the industry.

Louis Levy started the business from money earned by assembling radios when he was about 20 years old. He was very intuitive.[5] Louis Levy and Max Wittenberg started the Artcraft Fluorescent Lighting Corporation about 1940.[2] Mr. Wittenberg managed the business, sales, and accounting office and Mr. Levy managed the manufacturing, fixture development, and production department. Fluorescent lighting was very new to consumers, businesses, and professionals, who were familiar with incandescent lighting.[6] The transition to this newer form of lighting was not easy.

The benefits of fluorescent lighting were lower operating costs, more light for the same power input, and less maintenance.[7] The idea took hold.[8] The company had over 200 employees at the factory and branch offices. Starting about 1959,[2] neon signs also were manufactured. The company began selling fixtures in the New York City area. They opened showroom offices in Manhattan, and then in Washington, DC and Philadelphia, PA about 1947, and began making and selling display cases and electric fans. Some customers opted for being on the installment plan, which was a growing trend then.[2] Sales and manufacturing skyrocketed by the mid-1950s east of the Mississippi, and many other companies were beginning to make fixtures. Max Wittenberg died in the late 1950s and Mr. Levy continued operations with a new partner until about 1968 when he sold the corporation. He was interested in going into the finance business.[5] The company remained in existence until about 2002 in Brooklyn, NY.[9]

File:Capture-Artcraft 1948 ad-cropped.PNG

[1948 Advertisement in Electrical Consultant magazine]

The corporation grew over time and was at its pinnacle in 1952. Artcraft received the prestigious "AAA" Dun & Bradstreet rating many times. Fewer than 10% of US corporations ever attain that status. While overseeing Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Payroll, Profit & Loss Statements, banking correspondence, extension of credit to customers together with two full-time accountants and five to seven bookkeepers and support staff, among other duties, it was apparent the corporation was a profitable entity with Louis Levy and Max Wittenberg being the sole owners.[2] Company stock offerings were becoming popular, and issuance began with the employees yet not on the major exchanges.[5] Very few businesses had that credit rating for an extended duration, analogous to a 5A, ER3, 1 rating today.[2]
File:Macy's - Columbus, Ohio (lighted display case).jpg
Macy's - Columbus, Ohio - display case lighting (a previous client of Artcraft Fluorescent Corp.), from Bleted, Wikimedia Commons, Retrieved, December 14, 2014, dated 12-14-2014
File:Seagram Building-NewYork-4.jpg
Seagram Building - New York - (a Lightolier client) architects: Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, Above picture, Seagrams Building, from dandeluca, Wikimedia Commons, Retrieved, April 7, 2011, dated 2008-07-14,
The three top companies from the beginning were, Lightolier, the largest, a division of Royal Philips Electronics, with approximately $500 million in annual sales, followed by Artcraft Fluorescent Lighting Corporation, and Globe Lighting, originating from New York City.[10] [11]

Past officers included: Louis Levy—President, a pioneer of fluorescent light fixture manufacturing, Max Wittenberg—Secretary and Treasurer, Jay Stern—Vice President, Bernard Luger—CFO, Chief Financial Officer, William Fishkin—General Counsel.[12] Previous locations and operations were at Brooklyn, NY (original factory), New York, NY, Manhattan (showroom), Philadelphia, PA (showroom & sales office), and Washington, DC (showroom & sales office).[2] See visitor traffic to this page last month.


Industrial Directory of New York State, 1949ed, 1953ed 3468, pp. 638, 684 

Lighting - Interior Lighting- Artemide (Firm), 63-64, 1953, p. 82 

Lighting - Interior Lighting- Artemide (Firm), 53-54, 1948, p. 392 

Mark Stanley Rea, PH.D. FIES, Editor-In-Chief (c. 1993), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, New York, Part IV Lighting Applications, Lighting Handbook Reference & Application (8th ed.), pp. 517–749, ISBN 0-87995-102-8  (previous editions published under title: IES lighting handbook)

"United States Library of Congress", Business Reference Desk Collection, archives of New York City corporations (Washington, DC), April 1997 

Arthur A. Bright and Rupert Maclaurin (1943), Economic Factors Influencing The Development and Introduction of The Fluorescent Lamp, The Journal of Political Economy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, [MIT], University of Chicago Press 51 (No.5), pp. 429–450 

Arthur A. Bright, Jr. (1949), The electric-lamp industry: technological change and economic development from 1800 to 1947, New York, Macmillan Co., pp. 399–417, ISBN 0-405-04690-1 

Moody's Dividend Record - Artcraft Fluorescent Corp., 7% partie, pfd, 1948, p. 143 

Luger, Bernard (May 1995), "Documenting a corporation", Sillman family private collection [Past United States Health Education and Welfare, Regional Inspector General for Audit (1966-1985), Region 3] 1: 2 

Zaslowsky, Esq., Daniel (May 1995), "An era a long time ago", Sillman family private collection 2: 3 

Levy, Paul (October 1998), "son of Louis Levy, Early industry leaders in New York City", Sillman family private collection 3: 4 

Sillman, Suzanne (August 1996), "daughter of Louis Levy, An employee's perspective", Sillman family private collection 4: 5 

Sillman, Richard (January 2011), "grandson of Louis Levy, A retrospective", Sillman family private collection 5: 6 

Lighting the Way, Natural museum of American History, © 2012 Smithsonian Institution and at, 2007 


  1. ^ Paul Levy, Early industry leaders in New York City, Sillman Family Private Collection, 1998
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Bernard Luger, CFO, Documenting a corporation, Sillman Family Private Collection, 1995
  3. ^ Industrial Directory of New York State, 1949ed, 1953ed
  4. ^ Lloyd Newman, former member of the Board, New York University, 2013
  5. ^ a b c Suzanne Sillman, An employee's perspective, Sillman Family Private Collection, 1996
  6. ^ John H. Campbell, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, The University of California, Berkeley, California, The History and Technical Evolution of High Frequency Lighting, pages 1-2, 1977
  7. ^ Mark Stanley Rea, PH.D. FIES, Editor-In-Chief, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, The Lighting Handbook and Reference, 1993
  8. ^ Arthur A. Bright and Rupert Maclaurin, Economic Factors Influencing The Development and Introduction of The Fluorescent Lamp, The Journal of Political Economy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, [MIT], University of Chicago Press, 51, No.5, 1943, pp. 429-450
  9. ^ New York State, Division of Corporations, State Records
  10. ^ Paul Levy, Early industry leaders in New York City, Sillman Family Private Collection, 1998
  11. ^ Dan Blitzer, grandson of Lightolier founder, New York City, 2013
  12. ^ Daniel Zaslowsky, Esq., An era a long time ago, Sillman Family Private Collection, 1995