The following details were obtained from various sources, including Electro-Mech Components (current owner of Switchlight, formerly Switchline), Visualux (a UK distributor), IXYS (who bought out Clare, Inc.) and
ESM (formerly CEDI, themselves formerly Pendar, now defunct). Some of these details may be factually incorrect, as they cannot all be independently verified.
|2015||In October 2015, ESM (European Switches Manufacturing, formerly Cedi Industries and Pendar in France) declared bankruptcy and ceased manufacturing activity. The e-mail address listed on their website no longer functions.|
|2012||IXYS subsidiary Clare, Inc. becomes IXYS Integrated Circuits Division|
|2002||IXYS Corporation buys out Clare, Inc.|
|2000||In September 2000, C.P. Clare Corporation becomes Clare, Inc.|
|2000||ESM (European Switches Manufacturing) is founded, according to their website.|
|1999||C.P. Clare Corporation announces the divestiture of Clare EMG, Inc., described as its “Mexican electromagnetic operations”; whether this was ever related to the factory that made “ASM MEXICO” switches is unclear, as there have been numerous Mexican factories related to this story|
|1997||Electro-Mech buy the Pollak TED Switchlight range from Stoneridge; this does not include the S820 and S880 magnetic reed keyboard switches (from Clare/Pendar, these were the SF/SG/SI/SK/SH and SFL/SIL/SGL series)|
|1997||January: C.P. Clare sells its Tongeren, Belgian manufacturing facility.|
|1996||September: C.P. Clare announces downsizing at Belgian manufacturing facility.|
|1992||Stoneridge buy General Instrument’s Transportation Electronics Division (TED)|
|1989||In May 1989, Clare Canada, Ltd. of Wakefield, Massachusetts makes an investment in the C.P. Clare division of General Instrument of Canada Ltd. (based in Toronto, ON); the receiving business is described thus: “Sells relay and electronic components for reed relays, electromechanical relays, reed switches, surge arresters and related products.” (Recorded per the Investment Canada Act)|
|1988||Stoneridge buy Pollak|
|198?||Something happens and we’re not sure what —
|1986||Clare-Pendar name still in use on a General Instruments catalogue entitled “Clare-Pendar Switchlight and Pushbutton Switches”, which includes the keyboard types S820, S880 and S950|
|1971||K1A keycap drawing branded “Clare-Pendar / A General Instrument Company” with the newer Clare-Pendar logo|
|1969||According to the obituary of Lawrence Powell Jr, he went to work for Clare-Pendar in Post Falls for around two years|
|1969||This is the oldest date on an engineering drawing labelled “Pendar Inc” (Pendar-66-data-sheet.pdf).|
|1967||General Instrument buys Universal Controls; Universal Controls is C. P. Clare’s parent company, so this would have put Clare-Pendar under General Instrument|
|1966||May: C.P. Clare & Co. acquires a 98% interest in Pendar Inc and renames it Clare-Pendar; it appears to function as a subsidiary of Clare.|
|1966||April: C.P. Clare & Co. is looking to take over Pendar, Inc. [The Spokesman-Review, 26th April 1966]|
|1963||C E Fisher forms Pendar, Inc. (based on The Spokesman-Review article, above, which gives Pendar, Inc. as three years old in April 1966)|
|19??||Pendar in France “splits” into separate French and US companies; the latter might be the Pendar, Inc. mentioned above.|
|1937||Carl P Clare forms C.P. Clare & Company, later known as C.P. Clare Corporation.|
We know from Electro-Mech documents that the US company was called “Clare-Pendar Co” during an unspecified date range, and that in 1971, it was part of General Instrument and using the logo found on the 1973 Clare-Pendar keyboard documented at Deskthority. ESM believe that Pendar bought Clare, but C.P. Clare long outlasted Pendar, Inc. A document from ESM suggests that the French Pendar brand became CEDI in 1992, but I do not actually understand what the document means.
Chronicle article 1966
The following newpaper article is attached to the back of a CP Clare photograph on eBay. It is stamped “CHRONICLE 11 MAY 1966”, and I do not know specifically which newspaper this is. Not all of the article is visible, but that much that is displayed is transcribed below.
There are several interesting points to note. The article states that Pendar was to become Clare-Pendar, suggesting that CP Clare itself was not going to change its name. This helps explain why Clare in Belgium retained its name. It also explains documentation from Electromechcomp from Clare-Pendar that lists numerous other premises as CP Clare instead of Clare-Pendar. Clare-Pendar appears to be just the subsidiary in Post Falls.
Additionally, ownership of CP Clare by Universal Controls is interesting, because Universal Controls were bought the next year by General Instrument. This therefore appears to indicate how Clare-Pendar became a General Instrument subsidiary.
Acquisition of Pendar, Inc., of Post Falls by C. P. Clare & Co. of Chicago re-emphasizes industrialist C. P. Clare’s deep roots in Idaho.
A graduate of the University of Idaho, where he obtained a degree in electrical engineering, he spends much of his time at his ranch in the Wendell, Idaho area, although the company which he founded and which bears his name is based in Chicago.
His 29-year-old firm, which makes relays and related control components, has acquired a 98 per cent interest in Pendar, which makes illuminated push keys for the data processing and aerospace industries.
Clare, who has brought his organization into a position of leadership in the electrical and electronic equipment field, sees “bright prospects for expansion” of the Post Falls plant.
Pendar, to be known as Clare-Pendar Co., is a three-year-old manufacturer now employing 150 persons in a new $500,000 plant just east of Post Falls.
Clare & Co. has plants in Chicago and Mundelein, Ill.; Fairview, N.C., and Rapid City, S.D., and subsidiaries in Canada and Belgium. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Universal Controls, New York, which makes and operates totalisator equipment for race tracks. He was born at Rossland, B.C.
Clare lived as a youth in Chewelah, Wash. His wife originally was from Spokane.
He founded Clare & Co. in 1937. In that year he and H. J. Peterson, now director of manufacturing, built the first ship- …
[ lines omitted from the image on eBay ]
… in 1957 retained company management and policies while enhancing its position in the industry and affording greater opportunity for expansion.
Clare also has attended the University of Michigan and Harvard Business School.
He has lived in Arlington Heights, Ill., since 1938, and was a prime mover in construction of the Northwest Community Hospital there, of which he is a trustee, and the Presbyterian Church there, to which he belongs.
He is also a trustee of both the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and Dickinson College at Carlisle, Pa.
He is a director of the United of America Bank in Chicago, Amphenol Corp. of Broadview, Ill., Industrial Wire & Cable Co., Ltd., of Toronto, Clare-Elliott, Ltd., of London and Universal Controls, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. Clare have a married daughter who lives in Park Ridge, Ill.
Patents relevant to Clare/Pendar computer keyboards and switches.
|Clare Pendar Co||US 3771636 A||Space bar assembly||1971-04-02||1973-11-13||This is the characteristic Clare-Pendar space bar assembly with the interlocking bars|
|General Instrument Corporation||EP 0072784 A2||Keyswitch design||1982-08-10||1983-02-23||A design for a single-sided foam and foil PCB where the capacitor pads are through-hole soldered!|
|General Instrument Corporation||US 4450332 A||Keyswitch design||1982-08-25||1984-05-22||This appears to be for the foam and foil switch series mentioned earlier|
|General Instrument Corporation||US 4454562 A||Keyswitch with telescoping plunger||1982-09-15||1984-06-12|
|General Instrument Corporation||US 4453198 A||Linear feel keyswitch with hysteresis||1982-09-15||1984-06-05||That is a strange definition of “linear”|
|General Instrument Corporation||US 4433225 A||Keytop levelling mechanism||1983-02-22||1984-02-21||This may be the origin of scissor switches|
During our brief correspondence, Isabelle Cachera from ESM assured me that they had no manufacturing capacity in Belgium, and that their only manufacturing capacity was in France. She attached some photos of their factory, that completely overlooked at the time (back in June 2015). Also shown below is a photo she sent of their switches; you can see that one tall switch (SI?) is marked “Clare” while most of the others are marked “Pendar” including another tall switch (SF).
Assuming the clock on the camera is set correctly, the factory photos were taken in 2002, while the photo of the switches was taken in 2003.