20 Years ago when I was a “younger” man, I was employed by Sinar Bron based in Edison, NJ.  Sinar Bron (now Bron Imaging Group) was, and still is to a large degree, a distribution company for multiple Swiss companies including Bron Elektronik, AG.  To say that I was green is an understatement.  Graduating from RIT, I was one of those kids that I laugh about today.  You know… thinking that I knew everything, ready to make my millions, and ready to take the photography world by storm.  Luckily I had employers that saw the drive and attitude that was necessary for success and were incredibly patient with all my naive ways.  And trust me, they needed a lot of patience!

On many of my training trips to Switzerland I was lucky enough to spend quality time with members of the Bron family.  We were shown great warmth and hospitality on each trip by Jacques Bron and Claude Bron, and on the special occasions we were able to spend time with the retired Pierre Bron.  I especially remember one long evening where I sat next to  Pierre, 60 years my elder, and grilled him about the meaning of life throughout dinner.  What Pierre thought of  all of my young questions, I will never know.  I am proud to say that I still think about that conversation and have used his advice often in business.  I am sad to hear the news of Pierre’s passing this week.  I am forever grateful to Sinar Bron and the Bron family for giving me the chance to get my foot in the door to this crazy industry.  And our heartfelt condolences go out to the entire Bron family.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of sorrow.

Dave Gallagher,  President of Capture Integration

Doc Edgerton, Pierre Bron, and Vernon McRoberts

On Saturday, November 5, one of our own passed away. Pierre Bron, one of the co-founders of Bron Elektronik AG, passed peacefully in Switzerland. Pierre and his brother, Joseph, founded the company in 1948, which had originally beared the name “Bron and Co.” Now known as Bron Elektronik AG, it became the manufacturer of three product brands: broncolor, Kobold and Visatec, which have become the industry standards for top photographic lighting equipment.

To all, Pierre Bron was known as a “photographic industrialist,” who concentrated his research in European and American studies in invention and scientific repertoire, becoming a source of knowledge and insight into photographic technology. In 1998, he penned a book with a museum curator named Philip Condax entitled, “The Photographic Flash,” in which he gives a concise history of the precursors to and modernization of modern flash photography. In 1982, Bron Elektronik moved their center of production to Allshwil. In 1990, Pierre Bron handed charge of Bron Elektronik AG to his son Jacques, who currently leads the company.

Here is a list of some of Pierre and Bron Elektronik’s extensive accomplishments:

50 years of history in a time capsule

1958 Pierre and Joseph Bron establish Bron Elektronik AG.
1962 Pierre Bron acquires all shares of the company.
1970 Bron Elektronik establishes a distributorship in Germany.
1977 Bron Elektronik establishes a distributorship in France.
1980 Bron Elektronik establishes a distributorship in the USA.
1982 Bron Elektronik moves to its new production centre in the Allschwil industrial zone.
1990 Pierre Bron hands the helm over to his son Jacques.
1990 The second construction phase ends with an office wing adjacent to the production centre.
1993 Bron Elektronik introduces VISATEC, the second product line after broncolor.
1999 Bron Elektronik acquires all assets of Kobold Licht GmbH, now named Bron Kobold GmbH;
the company continues to manufacture Kobold products in Wolfratshausen (Germany).
2002 Bron Elektronik establishes Bron Kobold USA as the US distributor of all Kobold and VISATEC products.
2005 Bron Elektronik develops the new Kobold Event line for the trade fair market.
2008 Bron Elektronik celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Milestones in technical evolution

1962 Bron uses electrolytic capacitors for the first time to reduce the weight of flash units.
1965 Bron begins to use printed circuits in flash units, making them easier to manufacture and service.
1968 Bron launches the world’s first monolight at Photokina.
1968 Bron produces the first flash unit with symmetric and asymmetric power distribution.
1971 Bron introduces the Hazylight area lamp.
1976 Bron introduces infrared flash synchronisation (power pack 404).
1980 Bron introduces infrared remote control for power packs und large-area lamps (Servor).
1982 Bron introduces the impact flash unit with polymer shells.
1984 Bron launches the first microprocessor-controlled power pack (Pulso).
1996 Bron introduces the first power pack with selectable flash duration and stabilised colour temperature (Grafit A).
1996 Bron launches the first power pack that can be controlled with a PC or a Mac (Grafit A).
1998 Bron introduces the first weather resistant HMI continuous light for cinema and television (Bron 400).
2002 Bron uses RFS for the first time to remotely control power packs with a PC or Mac using radio frequencies.
2006 Bron introduces the Verso power pack with a revolutionary battery concept featuring short recharging times.