1916 – 2016: Germanow-Simon Companies Celebrating 100 Years

Local Company Innovates To Compete and Thrive

The Germanow-Simon Companies, one of the Finger Lakes Area’s oldest continually operating manufacturing businesses, is celebrating its 100th anniversary next month.

In 1905, Harry Germanow arrived at Ellis Island as a teenager, having left his small hometown near Pinsk in what is now Belarus.  By October 1916, when the United States was in the middle of World War I, he and his friend Julius Simon had managed to scrape together $1000 to purchase two very used machine tools to open G-S Machine Works, their own shop on Mills Street.100yearsgstt

Since 1928 the company’s factory has been located in 1890’s vintage multi-story brick industrial buildings on St. Paul Street across from the Genesee Brewing Company.  Precision machining and tooling—today known as advanced manufacturing skills—were at the core of the quality work produced there.

Still today, specialized machinery and customized tooling are key elements in the manufacturing operations of GS Plastic Optics and Tel-Tru Manufacturing Company, the Germanow-Simon Companies.  Those buildings on St. Paul Street have been renovated significantly, and within those old brick walls there are now approximately 100 employees doing High Tech manufacturing!

GS Plastic Optics employs single point diamond turning, injection molding, thin film deposition coating and advanced metrology instruments to manufacture plastic optical components.  The company has grown to be a world-class manufacturer of polymer optical elements, and provides integrated optical solutions for a wide range of military, medical, commercial and consumer markets.

Tel-Tru Manufacturing Company using metal stamping, CNC turning equipment, and CNC vision systems, has grown to be a widely respected manufacturer of bimetal and digital thermometers as well as other temperature and pressure instruments and related accessories, for sanitary, industrial, OEM, HVAC, and food service applications and equipment worldwide.

To celebrate the dedication of generations of GS Plastic Optics and Tel-Tru staff, G-S is opening its doors to friends and families on Friday afternoon to celebrate this major milestone.  “We are pleased, honored and humbled when we reflect on the one hundred years of evolving markets, products offered, manufacturing methods, and channels of distribution our business has encountered.  We strive every day to produce the best product performance and quality possible for our valued customers.  We love the ‘magic of manufacturing’ and look forward to the next one hundred years of serving customers”, stated Andy Germanow, CEO of the Germanow-Simon Companies, and grandson of Harry.

The company and its CEO were cited late last year as an “Urban Innovator.”

The Germanow Simon Team in Earlier Days — The Company Continues its History of Innovation.

 About the Germanow-Simon Companies

Every day GS Plastic Optics works with program leaders on complex optical challenges by providing polymer optics designed specifically for improving our customers’ market share and competitiveness.

Tel-Tru Manufacturing Company engineers industrial quality temperature instruments that improve our customers’ product quality and operational performance.

Contact:Kati Chenot, Marketing Communications Manager | Phone: 585.232.1440

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New York Photonics is a not-for-profit organization founded to promote and enhance the New York State optics, photonics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.


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