LT anniversary blog

LT at the cutting edge

Thanks in no small part to the foresight of each of the company’s three generations, LT has been on the market with innovative solutions ever since it was founded in 1944. It has always been essential to think outside the box, and to be open to new ideas and solutions – just like an entrepreneur must understand the spirit of the time and act accordingly.

The 1940s
Despite being a decade full of contradictions, and shaped by the privations of World War II, scientific and technical progress is made in many countries. Just a few years after LT is established in Trub in 1944, the course is set in the USA for the future development of manufacturing all over the world. In 1949, research work begins at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that will ultimately lead to the creation of CNC technology. It will take another 30 years, however, for the first CNC machine to reach the market. Once the technology proves its marketability, the first CNC lathe finds its way to Trub.

The 1950s
The years of the economic miracle, during which the mass media success of the television also begins. The entertainment industry is booming and the world’s biggest entertainment show – the Eurovision Song Contest – is born in Switzerland. Trub watches with baited breath as the Swiss entrant Lys Assia captivates audiences with her performance of “Refrain d’amour”, winning the competition for Switzerland in 1956. Then it would have been straight back to work for Hans Lehmann, as LT benefits from the economic upturn and expands its offering, adding forestry machinery in 1955.

The 1960s
LT makes a leap forward in forestry at the end of the decade with its development of a new pulley. At the same time, the whole world hears of another kind of step being taken, with Neil Armstrong becoming the first human to stand on the moon in 1969 and pronouncing “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” (even if it’s not completely clear whether Armstrong actually said this at all).

The 1970s
The feminist movement begins to shake the foundations of social structures. Switzerland introduces the women’s vote in 1971 – a little late in the day in an international comparison, and as one of the last countries in Europe. As a family business, Lehmann sees a generational change at the end of the decade, with Bruno Lehmann taking over the reins from his father. The allocation of roles in the Lehmann home is conventional, with Rita Lehmann handling the household and bringing up the children. Her husband’s appreciation for her work, however, is sincere and heartfelt.

The 1980s
The age of the computer has begun. Bruno Lehmann is open to these developments, and LT receives its first PC and a fax machine with thermal paper. The company in Trub is well-prepared for the new phase, even if the faxes are few and far between initially.

The 1990s
Developments in technology continue unabated, with the World Wide Web being made available to the public from 1991. Even in Emmental, the company’s development is shaped by the progress being made. Business is booming, and LT expands it production and invests in its first CNC machine.

The new millennium
The euro is introduced in the European Union in 2002. LT is faced with an exchange-rate situation that affects activities in both trade and manufacturing. Things are going well in Trub, and there are plans for the third expansion at company headquarters in 2007. A modern building is constructed alongside the historical chalet, housing manufacturing equipment and in time also being used as a warehouse for the LT online shop.

2019 is an anniversary year for LT – and for Swiss aviation as well, which for its part is turning 100. LT and flight – a fitting combination. Hans Lehmann was passionate about flying and was member of a hang-gliding club. Bruno Lehmann completed military pilot training. Simon Lehmann does not fly himself, but regularly travels to Indonesia to visit LT’s sister company LT Asia. Through the establishment of this company, LT has been active on the South East Asian and Australian markets for several years now, which also has a positive impact on the site in Trub.

Photos: The 1950s Evert F. Baumgardner/Images of American Political History, The 1960s Apollo 11/Wikipedia, Today: Die Lupe

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