▾ Bill Duren (in the background), owner of Cygnet Films, talks with a production assistant during shooting for a training film. Cygnet Films, which was based in Chippewa Falls, became Spectrum Industries after Duren's death. -Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society, WHS-83140
March 29, 1968
Our company is established in Chippewa Falls as Cygnet Films where sales promotion and training films are produced for a variety of customers, including the American Basketball Association and United States Armed Forces.
With the purchase of Fischer Laboratories in Carol Stream, Illinois, Spectrum expands into the film processing business and begins reproducing 16 and eight-millimeter film for the education market, which continues for the next 30 years.
Spectrum acquires Hubbard Scientific, a manufacturer of educational products used in high school science curriculums. The acquisition results in a doubling of the company’s size.
The company has three locations; the corporate office in Northbrook, Illinois, film processing in Carol Stream, and a new assembly and warehousing facility for education products in Chippewa Falls.
The acquisition of Jewel Metal Works brings metal fabrication to Spectrum with their line of aquariums and terrariums.
The Johnson Street wood manufacturing facility is purchased as well as Hallie Wood Products, which propelled the manufacturing division to the next level. By the end of the 80’s, the division is manufacturing custom store fixtures, point of purchase displays, and two lines of office furniture.
The corporate office moves to Chippewa Falls and a new era begins for Spectrum as operations are consolidated to concentrate on manufacturing.
Hubbard Scientific is sold and Spectrum launches a brand new business model, along with the CLASS line of computer lab furniture for personal computers. To accommodate demands in the personal computer sector, our manufacturing plant grew by 100,000 square feet. Revenues increased five-fold, along with an increase in jobs and company capabilities.
As educational institutions transition to laptops, computer lab furniture demand decreases and Spectrum responds by developing carts for laptops, netbooks and teleconferencing, and lecterns for multimedia presentations.
As products evolve, so does Spectrum’s distribution model. We develop key partnerships with regional and national resellers, which creates a new generation of products.
Spectrum purchases a 125,000 square foot building in Chippewa Falls to increase capacity of the metal fabrication, powder-coating and assemble-to-order product lines. The facility is also home to our corporate office and new division, Applied Medical Solutions, which serves the healthcare industry.
2005 - 2010
During this time, great advances are made to manufacturing with new equipment and procedures that result in increased out-put and productivity, and a significant reduction of waste and negative environmental impact.
The Flex InSight Desk debuts in response to an increase of active learning environments. Mobile carts are also in high demand because of the conversion from desktop computers to laptops.
Spectrum introduces Freedom Lectern XRS and the InTouch tablet cart family, which stores and charges Apple iPad devices and similar tablets.
The InVision D-Shaped Active Learning Table rolls out to accommodate collaboration areas of the “flipped” classroom, the new way of learning.
Freedom One Lectern and Cloud 32 Chromebook carts are launched as Spectrum is the first in the industry to introduce a cart for Chromebooks. Cloud 32 stands as the most successful launch in Spectrum history, with over 367,000 carts in classrooms throughout the U.S. Also, The Johnson Street plant is renovated.
InVision Access Collaboration Table with eLift electric height adjustment is introduced so users can work while standing.
Spectrum purchased the Pactiv building in Chippewa Falls, WI. Spectrum has huge growth plans and the new facility will play a pivotal role.
Collaboration newsletter is launched to keep resellers up-to date on latest products, news, and specials
Spectrum named recipient of the 27th Annual Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Grand Award for Medium-Size Category
Spectrum Expressions introduced. The decor-enhancing color choices for laminates and powder coat now gives customers over
60 new color combinations – New and updated products released:
Spectrum website is newly redesigned and launched creating the Reseller Portal to give our resellers necessary tools to help sell our products.
Spectrum changes sales model to Reseller only, allowing Spectrum to focus on supporting Reseller and Partners.
Media Manager Series of Lecterns was introduced. Redesigned to give uniformity, the classic functions of the Link, Compact and Director Lecterns joined the Elite Lectern to bring common aesthetics and functions our customers have requested.
The River Street building, after extensive updates, has the first manufacturing equipment installed.
Optio Collaboration Tables were introduced. These mobile collaboration tables with standard cut-out available from major manufacturers.
Spectrum celebrates over 45 years of building innovative and high-value products and services for diverse markets. Spectrum’s commitment to customers has never been stronger and the excitement for new markets and products will lead us into the future.