GE Nela Park
One of Nela’s best known buildings is the Lighting & Electrical Institute, which receives thousands of customers and lighting professionals each year at its many conferences and training programs.
It began in 1879, when Edison invented the carbon filament lamp. The General Electric Company was formed by merging the Edison Electric Company and the Thomson Houston Company on April 15, 1892. That year, the company employed 10,000 people and had $20 million in sales.
At the turn of the century, entrepreneurs Franklin Terry and Burton Tremaine organized the National Electric Lamp Company (NELA) in Cleveland. GE invested in the company although it was a competitor in order to further the goal of standardizing the GE-invented screw base. At that time, there were many companies that made light bulbs with many different bases.
The GE logo was introduced on lamps and electrical appliances in 1907. Two years later “Mazda” was adopted as the trademark for certain lamps produced by GE after Mazda, the Persian God of Light.
By 1911 GE owned 75 percent of the National Electric Lamp Company and (by U.S. federal court order) was asked to dissolve the company and do business under its own name. Terry and Tremaine proposed to GE that its lamp operations be relocated from Cleveland to the countryside. They purchased an abandoned vineyard seven miles outside Cleveland and construction began for Nela Park, the very first Industrial Park in the world!
In 1975, the 92-acre Nela Park was listed as an Historic Place in the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Register.