Six Giant Companies You Didn't Know Were From Rochester

6 companies you didn't realize were from rochester ny

1. Xerox

Xerox Rochester NY

Best known for its photocopiers the business was established in Rochester, NY under the name “The Haloid Company”. It was first in 1938 that physicist Chester Carlson invented a printing process using electrically charged photoconductor-coated metal plate and dry powder towner.

It was twenty years before it was commercialized. Joseph C. Wilson was actually knows for being the founder of Xerox and saw the potential of Carlson’s invention. In 1961 they changed the company name to Xerox. In 1964 the LDX system was introduced into what eventually evolved into the fax machine.

The Company grew to create many modern computing technologies that had gotten the attention of such people as Steve Jobs. Who then in turn used the knowledge gained from Xerox for his own devices while spear heading Apple.

2. Gleason

gleason rochester ny

In 1865 an Irish immigrant by the name of William Gleason grew his machine shop into the Gleason Corporation. By 1874 Williams had created the first bevel gear planner, this was considered a game changer due to the specific never seen before combination of planners and index heads in this manner.

William’s daughter Kate was key to the company’s success and known for holding any position from sales to machinery. It was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange until 1999 and now carries multiple names under the Gleason Corporate umbrella. 

3. Bausch & Lomb

Bausch + Lomb Rochester NY Business

In 1853 John Bausch and Henry Lomb (both German immigrants) started producing monocals and expanded to various eye care products. It is one of America's oldest running companies. By the time Theodore Roosevelt was president the company was able to take advantage of the US Army’s growth by receiving grants to produce high precision lenses for optical measurement.

In 1971 B & L had brought contact lenses to the market. The company was on the New York Stock Exchange until it was acquired in 2007 by private equity firm Warburg Pincus. Today the company employs around 12,000 people with in 36 countries.

4. French's

french's rochester ny

Best known for their prepared condiments and especially their mustard. It was first in 1884 the French brothers relocated their business to Rochester, NY. This is after their flower mill burned down the prior year in Fairport. It was Named the R.T. French Company. By 1904 French’s mustard was introduced.

By 1926 it was sold to a company in the United Kingdom owned by J. & J. Colman who also at the time produced Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. It is now owned by McCormick & Company. It wasn’t until 1987 that headquarters moved from 1 Mustard St. Rochester, NY to Chester New Jersey.

5. Western Union

western union rochester ny

Now headquartered in Meridian Colorado Western Union’s roots can go back to "The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company" that was created in Rochester, NY in 1851. In 1856 it consolidated with its competitor “The New York and Western Union Telegraph Company” in to "The Western Union Telegraph Company".

Some of its more popular inventions and services include the first stock ticker introduced in 1866 and standardized time service in 1870. By the time the telephone was introduced and in full swing money transfer was its main form of service. It is now a full financial service and communications company

6. Kodak

kodak rochester ny

Best known for its photographic film products Kodak has helped put Rochester on the map thanks to its founder George Eastman going as far back as 1888.

Throughout most of the 20th century, Kodak had dominant market control of all photographic film. The Term “Kodak Moment” was coined largely to the mass distribution of the “Brownie”, it was a simple product to use and affordable pricing for the common person.

Now Kodak has moved on to digital printing and consulting due to the steep decline in film usage and increase in usage of phone cameras. It is still Headquartered in Rochester, NY