S. T. Dupont
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S.T.Dupont Paris is a brand name and manufacturer of lighters, collectible pens, handbags, perfumes (produced under license by Interparfums), cigarettes (made by Philip Morris International), and recently other gadgets using the trademark diamond-head pattern. The company has been producing luxury items since its founding in 1872. The founder of the brand, Simon Tissot-Dupont, was born in Savoy in 1847; the company owes its initials to him.
Simon Tissot Dupont founded a carriage company which was destroyed in a fire in 1872. The same year he bought a workshop which made leather briefcases for diplomats and businessmen. In 1884, Dupont became the supplier to one of the world’s largest shops – Les Grands Magasins du Louvre – while maintaining his private clientele.
Dupont handed over his company to his sons in 1919, Lucien and Andre, who, trading under the name of Les Fils de S.T. Dupont (the Sons of S.T. Dupont) relaunched the activity. They focused on high quality travel cases and accessories. Craftsmen were employed and patents were taken out to protect industrial secrets. 250 workers and 17 separate traders were involved in the manufacture, including goldsmiths, woodworkers, engravers, leather craftsmen, lacquer workers, and locksmiths.
S.T. Dupont transferred its workshops from rue Dieu in Paris back to the family's hometown of Faverges in Savoy in 1924.
In 1929 Lucien Tissot Dupont was invited to New York by Louis Cartier to present his travel cases in their 5th Avenue shop. On the ship going to New York he learned about the Wall Street crash. In response, on his subsequent return to Paris he decided to move even further upmarket and cater to clients unaffected by the crash.
Dupont has gone on to produce lighters, pens, wallets, watches, cigarette (made by Philip Morris International) and fragrances. It currently controls 70% of the luxury lighters market. The company's first serially produced lighter was created in 1941, and was made of aluminium, as brass was used as a strategic metal restricted for war purposes only. From 1958 to 1963, all lighters were constructed of 18k solid gold with 3% brass.
Notes and references
- ST Dupont Official English language website
- Gizmodo: S.T. Dupont Creates Palladium Flash Drive for the Well-Heeled
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