On Apr. 18, 2013, GE Lighting celebrated the centennial of Nela Park, its headquarters located just outside Cleveland. Several hundred guests and GE Lighting employees commemorated the milestone with a series of events throughout the day. The Nela Park campus was founded in 1913 by Franklin S. Terry of the Sunbeam Incandescent Lamp Company of Chicago and Burton G. Tremaine of the Fostoria Incandescent Lamp Company of Fostoria, Ohio. It has been home to the company’s administrative offices and research laboratories for the past century and more recently its educational center, The GE Lighting Institute.

Highlights of the morning ceremony included the opening of a time capsule from 1916, which was buried at the campus’ original main entryway gate. Objects in the capsule included some of the first lamps developed at Nela Park, filament wire, lamp manuals, photos of the recently completed Nela Park buildings, and the company’s balance sheets. In the spirit of historical continuum, a new time capsule was “planted” on the future site of the Nela Park Centennial Garden. The 2013 time capsule included samples of current GE energy-efficient lamps, some of the company’s latest LED technology, as well as historic artifacts such as the first GE Mazda lamps sold for general home lighting. Visitors were then treated to the opening of the GE Museum of Lighting Innovation, which showcases GE Lighting’s technical contributions to the development of lighting technology. 

In the afternoon, the program included remarks by Maryrose T. Sylvester, President and CEO, GE Lighting, and GE Chairman & CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt, who noted that GE as a company ‘was built around lighting’. Continuing its role as a good corporate neighbor to the local Cleveland and East Cleveland communities, GE Lighting, through its GE Foundation, presented two $250,000 grants to area nonprofit health centers: the Neighborhood Family Practice and the Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services.

For the past 100 years GE Lighting and Nela Park have played an important role in both the local community as well as the broader scope of the lighting industry. It will surely continue to do the same for the next 100 years.