Lutron Donates Company History To Smithsonian

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WASHINGTON, DC—In a special donation ceremony last month, Joel Spira, inventor and developer of the solid-state electronic “dimming device” and chairman and founder of Pennsylvania-based Lutron Electronics, donated materials related to the company’s 50-year history to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

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Joel Spira, Lutron chairman and founder

The donation includes an early version of the original solid-state Capri dimmer manufactured by Lutron in September 1964. Also part of the donation is a retail display featuring the fully functional dimmer and other Lutron dimmers and lighting-control systems.

The museum requested objects and papers that would provide insight into Spira’s career as an inventor. The museum will receive his original inventor’s notebook with more than 100 pages of handwritten documentation and historic photographs, as well as product advertisements.

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