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Our Story
A Century of Design and Craftsmanship

Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lightingIn 1905, Einstein published his first paper on the theory of relativity making famous the equation E=MC2, Orville and Wilber Wright completed their first flight lasting more than thirty minutes, Claude Debussy composed Claire de Lune, and Henry Alfred Framburg started H. A. Framburg and Company in Chicago, Illinois.

Teddy Roosevelt was President and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was on the Supreme Court. Automobiles were slowly replacing the horse and buggy and would become ubiquitous a few years later when mass produced vehicles like the Model T were introduced. Chicago was one of the fastest growing metropolises in the world and reflected the extremes, both good and bad, of the rough individualistic style of American capitalism and society.

Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lightingThe American Arts and Crafts movement was just beginning; Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School would emerge a few years later. The seeds of revolution were sprouting in Russia and social justice movements like labor and suffrage were gaining momentum in the United States.

Electricity was replacing gas as an illuminating energy source. Light fixtures often used a combination of gas and electricity. Bamboo was the material in early bulb filaments and would later be replaced by carbon filaments. But it wasn't until the tungsten filament was perfected a few years later that electricity was able to supplant all other forms of artificial light.

Many changes have occurred since 1905 – social, economic, political, and cultural. But some things haven’t changed. Framburg is still producing the highest quality commercial grade and residential lighting fixtures. And each Framburg is designed and handcrafted in the United States of America.

Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting   Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting
This picture was taken at a Chicago Lighting Fixture Association dinner in 1914 at the Hotel Sherman. The arrow in the center points to Henry Alfred Framburg. In the beginning, Framburg was mostly a regional company.
  This photo was taken in our metal working department in 2004. Today Framburg sells and ships throughout the world and supports over one hundred families.
     
Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting   Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting
  During the 1920's Framburg was solidifying its reputation for high quality, commercial grade lighting fixtures. The photo above is an example from our 1925 catalog. Notice the all cast construction and intricate detail.   Some pieces in our product line have been produced for over 50 years - a testament to their timeless style and enduring quality. The picture above from our Yorkshire Collection is an example. Notice how the glass is bent in two radii and the seams are bound to create a clean and structurally sound attachment of the glass panels.  
     
Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting
Some of our designs, such as the one shown above, are exact reproductions of period lighting. This fixture is from our Chancery Collection and replicates the Victorian gas light fixtures from the 1800's.   Throught our product line you will find several designs that utilize iconographic images that have profound symbolic meaning derived from myth and legend. This gargoyle-adorned lantern above is from our Carcassonne Collection.
     
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  From formal to casual, gothic to contemporary, and rustic to refined, Framburg handcrafts one of the broadest product
lines. The Syzygy (left) and Vienna (right) evidence this
breath of design.
  Often we seek to capture the essence of a genre or design philosophy without being confined by its methods or materials. From our Fin de Siecle Collection, the chandelier above is inspired by the organic elements of Art Nouveau styling.  
Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting  
An early Framburg logo circa 1910. Notice the “H. A. F.” in script and the man carrying a lantern. During World War I Framburg made searchlights for the Armed Services.  
Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting   Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting  
During World War II Framburg manufactured ship recognition models to train our forces to be able to recognize Allied versus Axis ships. These models were made in 1:500 and 1:1200 scale and are remarkably detailed and durable. In fact, they are collector’s items and a full set can sell for $10,000.  
Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting
  Guessing by the age of the automobiles, this picture of our previous facility on Carroll Avenue in Chicago was taken in the late 1920's or early 1930's.   The above picture, circa 1935, shows the interior of our previous facility. Notice the shafts on the ceiling that used belts to power the machines on the floor. Framburg's reputation for quality and financial conservatism allowed it to survive these difficult economic times.  
   
Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting
  Today Framburg manufactures all of its product in a 75,000 square foot facility in Bellwood, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago).   This photo was taken in our assembly department in 2004.  
 
  Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting
Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting   Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting
Each Framburg fixture is the beneficiary of refinements in metal forming, finishing, design, and engineering techniques that have been refined through the generations. Not long ago designs were rendered painstakingly by hand such as the custom fixture above.   Today, Framburg designs are modeled on a computer and are the distillation of countless iterations that allow us to achieve superior form, proportion and scale.
Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting  

Framburg is one of the most integrated manufacturers in the lighting industry and one of the few companies still manufacturing product in the United States. Our manufacturing capabilities allow us to produce fixtures of superior quality, thematic consistency, and design integrity.

Our capabilities also allow us to create a virtually infinite array of custom designs. The large chandelier pictured here resides in a monastery.

Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting
 
 
Contemporary lighting, Modern contemporary lighting, contemporary  outdoor lighting
941 Cernan Drive, Bellwood, IL 60104
(800) 796-5514

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