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Introducing: The History Of Searchlight Lighting

Posted on January 11 2017

1945: Upon being discharged from the army, Captain Sidney Hamburger set up a one man electrical wholesale business in a tiny office in the cellar of 1B Cooper Street, Salford. This was the start of Searchlight.

1949: Searchlight move to new premises in Blackfriars Street, Manchester. Magnificent 800 sq. ft. showrooms and a warehouse are opened. Lighting is first introduced into the product range.

1957: Sidney's eldest son Herzl joins the business and after spending the first eighteen months working in the warehouse, begins his career as a salesman.

1960: The business continues to grow. Now employing fifteen people, a decision is made to relocate to larger premises in Middlewood Street, Salford.

1961: Dov joins Searchlight and carries on the family tradition of learning all aspects of the business - including loading and unloading deliveries, packing orders, and even sweeping the floors.

1968: One Saturday afternoon the premises in Middlewood Street go up in flames. Sidney and his sons watch helplessly as the fire rages through the building. However, within fourteen days Searchlight is back in business. New premises are rented with goods once again being dispatched to customers, demonstrating a level of commitment and dedication from the employees way beyond anything that could have been expected.

1970: After an extensive rebuilding program, the revamped showrooms at Middlewood Street are re-opened with with new and exciting product ranges including Italian Sciolari gold plated light fittings.

1973: Sidney's youngest son, Morris, joins the business straight from university and starts work tidying and sweeping the warehouse floors.

1975: Searchlight launch their first ever colour brochure with over two hundred products featuring in a seventy-two page lighting catalogue.

1976: Searchlight becomes the first company within the lighting industry to introduce computers into the business with the purchase of a state of the art model.

1980: As the business continues to flourish, the existing premises at Middlewood Street are once again outgrown and a 195000 sq. ft. five storey building is purchased in Water Street, Salford.

1981: Sir Sidney, as he would now become, is recognised by Her Majesty the Queen and knighted for his services to the National Health Service and charitable work.

1983: Searchlight invest in Wardmount, a lighting manufacturer and assembly business based in Manchester, enabling on-site wiring, spraying, and finishing of light fittings from component parts.

1993: Searchlight open its first joint venture lighting factory in Guangdong, China, employing over 400 workers.

1999: Daniel, Herzl's son and the third generation on the Hamburger family, joins the business after spending three years employed by Ford Motors.

2002: Searchlight's purpose built offices, showroom, and warehouse facility are opened up by the Earl and Countess of Wessex at 900 Oldham Road, Manchester. The impressive new three storey building boasts Europe's largest lighting showroom and houses a state of the art 95000 sq. ft. warehouse with space for over fifteen thousand pallets.

2006: The business diversifies into the commercial lighting market with the acquisition of Illuma Lighting, a company based in the East Midlands. This results in the combined business employing over two hundred people.

2013: Searchlight achieve a Top 100 ranking for two years running in the Sunday Times Fast Track 200 league table of Britain's privately owned companies with the fastest growing international businesses.

2015: Searchlight celebrate their 70th anniversary with a gala dinner for all employees - including fourteen individuals with over twenty years service and five individuals with over thirty years service.