History

1910 to 1960

The brand's foundation and boom

It all started in 1910, in the 20th arrondissement (district) of Paris, with Edouard-Jean Pradier, founder of a factory producing lanterns and hydrotherapy items at 31rue Piat. He supplied towns, railway companies, the navy and aviation - the sleeping partners of the time.

Called to action several years later to defend his country, he returned from the Great War seriously injured. He then decided to hand over his company to his two young sons Maxime and Roger who would divide the company's activities.

Maxime kept the main part of the public markets, focussing on wrought iron, which was in fashion at the time.

As for Roger, he continued to supply to the State for a while, before deciding to try and win over another clientele, in the private sector, by offering lighting solutions for individual households. He would soon become the no.1 supplier in this field.

It took off straight away and his father's factory that he had taken on became too cramped. In 1928, he moved to 7 villa Laforgue in the 19th arrondissement, near the Botaris metro stop, keeping the name Jean Pradier, to run what he thought to be his family's future.

Victim of his own success, he had to move the factory once again owing to a lack of space. He set it up in Asnières behind the family home in 1955. Moreover, it was here, in the factory among the workers, that he spent most of his time, pondering new lines of lighting fixtures and testing lighting solutions capable of fulfilling the needs of his contemporaries. Meanwhile, his wife supported his business by opening a little decoration shop near the offices, recommending layout ideas to her customers.

1960 to 1990

With the changeover, exports

The increasingly flourishing lighting fixtures business forced our entrepreneur to move a part of the production to Oise. This temporary solution soon became unmanageable, with the constant back-and-forth between the two sites.

Roger Pradier, then a robust fifty-something, decided to completely relocate the company, setting up beside the Route Nationale 20 in 1963, halfway between Paris and his native region of Dordogne, more specifically in Graçay, in the Indre département. His wife, his three children and his most loyal employees joined him in this new adventure. Everyone got involved, specialising in a field in order to rebuild the original winning team around the patriarch. Mrs Pradier ran the shop like in Asnières and made the most of the high numbers of visitors from one of the major traffic routes of the time to advertise the brand.

The Graçay site, unlike previous production sites, had strategic visibility which established the brand for good. However, it no longer suited the modern image that the family had always wanted to convey.

In 1970, Roger Pradier senior built what is still today the Roger Pradier headquarters and manufacturing site, outdoor lighting designer, at the southern entrance to Châteauroux, in the municipality of St Maur, still beside the Nationale. The father continued to help his 28 year old son who would officially take over the management in the 80s.
Between 1975 and 1980, part of the activity was kept in Graçay, time enough to let the public know about the new address.

With the young generation and a brand new factory, the lighting specialist was now ready to take on the international market. Ambassador of high-range outdoor lighting in France, the CEO was invited in 1984 by the Edith Cresson's government to go to New York, with a whole delegation of French companies tasked with presenting their know-how.

The interest wasn't to come from the United States, however, as one might have thought, but from the Near, Middle and Far East with Morocco, The Emirates, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. The lighting fixtures adorned the most prestigious sites, with French classicism and "l'imagerie d'Epinal" that it conveyed exporting well.

Quality speaks a universal language which goes beyond borders - the Pradier family always knew this. A love for work well done and strong design at the heart of decor guided their steps. Their philosophy was one of a bygone era which still commands admiration and is used as a model.

1990 to the present

Buy out and new directions

Roger Pradier junior, along with his two sisters, inherited the company's capital. He bought their shares and decided to give up this industrial heritage so dear to him and enter, like his father before him, into a more personal adventure.

In 2003, Christian Lombardet, young CEO of a network of funeral franchises, bought the business. From funeral plaques to lighting, the transition appeared to be a tough one. Nonetheless, there are many similarities - materials which must last over time, seamless classical lines and a French exception capable of combining the two. France is one of the few countries where this kind of item for decorating graves has been marketed and purchased for decades - the manufacture of these ornamental goods has become very important here.

It was a complete change of scene for this entrepreneur, who was looking above all for creative potential to propel his business. Christian Lombardet, as a worthy successor, protects this historic, lively and popular crucible.
Equipped with an integrated design studio, fresh air has been breathed into the design, with the contemporary brand rp design to carry on with the "French touch" in outdoor lighting.