On 1 March 1961, Jakob Gilgen Senior of Schwarzenburg founded the Gilgen company in his parents’ garage. The former federal civil servant invented the drive system for continuously regulating the final speed of an automatic sliding door (cone). That same year, he patented his invention.
By 1963, Gilgen already had 13 employees and annual sales in excess of CHF 1.2 million. In the same year, they were awarded a major contract to provide and install the power supply system for the monorail and Télécanapé at the 1964 Expo in Lausanne.
Opening of the first branch in Zurich-Rüschlikon. A first step towards today’s expansive customer service network.
Jakob Gilgen Senior applied for a patent for automatic postbox-emptying systems. This achievement allowed the company to move into a further area of activity. The construction of the first conveyor system (vertical conveyance of letter post) for PTT, as Swiss Post was known at the time, was an important calling card for the Bern-based SME.
1969 In the late 1960s, the brothers were already generating annual sales of CHF 4.6 million and employed almost 60 people. The company was growing so fast that a new building became a necessity. The ‘Nord’ factory in the Gantrisch area was built in 1969. Just one year later, Gilgen took its first steps into French-speaking Switzerland and opened its first branch there in Saint-Sulpice in the canton of Vaud.