Made in USA Lighting from one of the leading American LED Light Manufacturers
See the innovation for Made in USA Lighting from one of the leading American LED Light Manufacturers with the strongest 10 Year Warranty on the market. Independence LED’s Founder and Chairman, Charlie Szoradi, is the fourth generation in a line innovators that have focused their attention on the built world and improving the structures around us. The entrepreneurial spirit and the drive to manufacture the best of breed products in America dates back to the first decade of the 1900s.
See Highlight Page: 100 Years of Family Innovation
Images above: Upper Row: Carl Zwermann’s Patent, Production Facility, Catalog Cover, and Cross Section Figure.
Middle Row: Charlie Szoradi’s Patent on Modular Component Construction Systems from 1993; LED lighting: Adjustable Beam Angles, Deep Fin Heat Sink, and External Independent Driver System.
Lower Rows: Samples of Szoradi’s research sketch books ranging from traditional and modular U.S. construction studies to travel and work in Japan. This sample set of images also includes the Encyclopedia of Architecture, in which Szoradi authored the biography of the celebrated Renaissance Architect and Humanist Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472). The modular patent, travel research, and biography all contributed to the inspiration for Szoradi’s Master Thesis on “Eco-Humanism” at the University of Pennsylvania. These factors, in turn, contributed to the development of Independence LED and it’s made in USA lighting.
Foundation in American Manufacturing for Made in USA Lighting:
Great Grandfather: By 1913, Charlie Szoradi’s great grandfather, Carl Zwermann, had secured over a dozen patents of his engineering designs for what we all use and take for granted today. He invented key aspects of the “water closet” with the bowl, tank, and interior mechanics that we now call the modern toilet. His manufacturing facilities in Michigan and Illinois became key cornerstones of production in the early decades of the 1900s. The production plants also used innovative thermal management to increase efficiency in the porcelain kiln and drying processes. By the end of the 1920s, Carl Zwermann had built the family’s U.S. porcelain sanitary plant into one of the largest manufacturing facilities of its kind in the world.
During World War II, special plumbing fixtures were made for the Army and for Navy ships. Mr. Zwermann’s great grandson Charlie Szoradi has carried on this tradition of support for the U.S. Military by dedicating development resources and time to provide LED solutions for the armed services with the first installation in 2011.
Carl Zwermann sold the Zwermann Company to the Case Manufacturing Corporation, formerly a part of W. A. Case and Son Manufacturing Company. According to PlumbingSupply.com, “Case brand toilets Case brand toilets – no longer manufactured – are some of the finest toilets ever made. Those that still have them, don’t want to give them up! That is why we, at PlumbingSupply.com®, offer an extensive line of repair parts and replacement tank lids and toilet seats just for Case toilets.”
After the war in 1952, Bayou Interests, Inc., bought the Case Company for a reported 7 million dollars. It in turn was acquired by Ogden Corporation. Ogden has grown to become a major publically traded conglomerate and has 39,000 employees with annual sales of $800 million and a Market Value of $1.340 billion.
While the groundbreaking pluming innovations in engineering and manufacturing did not have a direct link to Made in USA Lighting, this Made in USA Manufacturing story was a key inspiration for Mr. Szoradi.
Grandfather: Charlie Szoradi’s grandfather, Clyde Hill, was a Mechanical Engineer who joined the Case Company in 1930 and was put in charge of the design and development of new fixtures and fittings. In 1942 he left Case to focus on sprinkler systems for commercial and industrial buildings. His company Lancaster Equipment Engineers helped improve life safety in built structures specifically for commercial and industrial facilities through Fire Pump safety. As an engineering graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, he also inspired his grandson to attend Penn for his Masters studies in Architecture.
Father: Charlie Szoradi’s father Charles Szoradi is an architect that developed passive solar and sustainable design practices as early as the 1960s. His work helped reduce operating costs and served as an inspiration for his son. Charles Szoradi also authored the biography of Lewis Mumford for the Encyclopedia of Architecture. Lewis Mumford was a 20th century American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and influential literary critic. Particularly noted for his study of cities and urban architecture In his early writings on urban life, Mumford was optimistic about human abilities and wrote that the human race would use electricity and mass communication to build a better world for all humankind.
Charlie Szoradi: Charlie earned his undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia, and he wrote his Masters Thesis at the University of Pennsylvania on Environmentally Sustainable Architecture “Eco-Humanism” in 1993. He secured his first patent in the same year. The LED tube patent was filed in 2011, the same year as the move of the LED Tube manufacturing from China to Boyertown, Pennsylvania. Within two years, Independence LED completed the largest LED tube retrofit in U.S. history, to date, with over 2 miles 38 football fields) of installed high efficiency LED tubes.
This multiple generation of dedicated Engineers, Architects, and Inventors share a patriotism and tenacity that has helped create jobs and elevate the quality of plumbing, safety, design, and illumination for the past 100 years. Mr. Szoradi’s interest in Made in USA Lighting vs Made in China lighting was rooted in family history dating back to his Great Grandfather, an economic realization that Independence LED could reduce shipping costs through domestic manufacturing, and profound patriotism in building American Jobs and Energy Independence.
A Parallel 100 + Years:
Charlie Szoradi’s wife Cynthia also has a family with a century of excellence in the built world. Her great grandfather started L.C. Fulenwider in 1904. Today the company specializes in real estate ownership and development. Focusing on sustainable development as the core of it’s business, Fulenwider has entered the 21st Century by continuing the tradition of vision and innovation, including the pioneering development expertise, which has made Fulenwider an acknowledged leader in Colorado real estate. The company helped create the Colorado Real Estate Commission and, in fact, still holds Colorado Real Estate License #1. Since its beginning in 1904, L.C. Fulenwider, Inc. has built a reputation for being first in introducing creative and practical ideas to Colorado’s real estate community. This practice continues to produce unique and profitable real estate projects and ventures of superior and lasting quality. See: www.fulenwider.com
Carl Zwermann Patents:
Energy and Labor Saving Kiln Design: http://www.google.com/patents/US1275352
Process of Enameling: http://www.google.com/patents/US2332423
Truck for Firing Furnace: http://www.google.com/patents/US1306160
Water-Closet Structure: http://www.google.com/patents/US1933518
Closet Bowl and Tank Structure: http://www.google.com/patents/US1970789
Water Closet: http://www.google.com/patents/US2006428
Journal of the American Ceramic Society
Volume 1, Issue 4, pages 262–266, April 1918
The fuel and labor saving qualities of the Zwermann Tunnel Kiln and its Operation: ”utilize the heat from the cooling zone for drying and heating purposes.”
Charlie Szoradi’s first patent in 1993, which focused on modular tenon engaging edge connecting members, generated derivative filings and has been referenced by thirty-five subsequent U.S. Patents ranging from building block systems to construction technology. Five of the subsequent patents that referenced Mr. Szoradi’s invention were originally assigned to ZinkoTek, the San Francisco-based company that makes environmentally friendly building toys, while another one was from an Italian building toy company. The innovation of the interlocking systems also generated derivative work such as the construction of race tracks for remote control toy vehicles, interactive teaching mats, modular panels with integral connection means for use in display board assemblies for trade shows. On the construction front, the patent was referenced for apparatus used to install egress window steps, panels fabricated from multiple sheets of corrugated board laminated together, walled structure apparatus. Szoradi’s first of multiple patents – 1993: Modular Building System: www.google.com/patents/US5215490