Founded in 1933
Employees are uniquely empowered to contribute towards a safer future, by creating real solutions that will help improve and save the lives of the driving public.
Starting with a stop
There were less than a million cars in Los Angeles, but congestion and traffic control had already become problematic. Arthur Loomis and Charles Chase, owners of a small toy and specialty lighting company, met with Leo Jennings, a City Electrician for Beverly Hills. Jennings asked the partners if they could build a stop sign with a built-in flashing red light, which would turn the light on and off depending on the time of day. The partners agreed and Jennings joined the venture as it created its first traffic product. The “Econolite” was born, and the name sticks.
Automobiles Take over the Roads
Automobile production had climbed to more than 3 million units, and Econolite was named the installation contractor for General Electric’s (GE) Traffic Signal Division.
Sell, Sell, Sell
Econolite became the permanent distributor for GE’s complete traffic signal product line. Econolite also began selling Automatic Signal Corporation products to the City and County of Los Angeles, a partnership which lasts for nearly 30 years.
Lighting the Future
Econolite began creating and manufacturing animated motion lamps and framed pictures. The lamps/pictures consisted of an interior and exterior shade, within which sat a single bulb. When turned on, the heat from the light bulb caused the inner shade to spin slowly, causing optical changes in the exterior picture. For the next 25 years, these motion lamps became a popular home decoration.
Econolite started supplementing GE and Automatic Signal Company products with their own manufactured goods including signal framework, pedestrian push buttons, and tMoving on Uperminal compartments.
Moving on Up
Sales efforts had become so successful that Automatic Signal expanded Econolite’s distributorship to include California, Arizona, and Nevada, followed by the territories of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho in 1950. This rapid expansion required a move to a new 5-acre, 96,000 square-foot facility on Bellanca Ave. in Los Angeles.
Leading the Industry
Econolite purchased the entire traffic signal product line from GE, including the famous Type “F” mechanical fixed-time controller. By this time, Econolite had been recognized as a leader in the traffic industry for their full line of traffic signal hardware and other necessary installation accessories.
Econolite is acquired by Tamar Electronics Industries, Inc., which is owned by Electro Science Investors. Investors include Jim Ling and Tracy Post. Tamar’s company symbol is a segmented globe framed by an upper and lower bar. From this point forward, the previous rounded Econolite logo is phased out in favor of a simple, futuristic font headed by the Tamar globe.
How the West was Won
KAR-TROL, a distributor for both Econolite and Automatic Signal, is purchased by Econolite, thus cementing Econolite’s presence in 17 western states.
First Digital Controllers
Rapid expansion into electronic traffic control begins with the introduction of the first solid-state, digital, fixed-time controller, and Econolite prepares to move into the manufacturing of more advanced, digital, actuated controllers.
First Digital Actuated Controllers
Tamar Electronic Industries is first acquired by LTV Ling Altec, and becomes an Altec “Quality Company.” Econolite remains a division of Tamar Electronics. Econolite develops the first digital actuated controllers with the introduction of the D-2000 and the D-4000.
Hello, Orange County!
With growing sales and increasing number of employees, Econolite moved to its present address in Anaheim, Calif. in 1971.
First Microprocessor-based Controller
Econolite celebrates 40 years in the traffic industry by pioneering the SEC-8000, the first microprocessor-based traffic controller.
First NEMA-based TS1 Controller
Strongly promoting the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) approach, the first NEMA-based TS1 traffic controller, the SPC-8000, is released.
Econolite is sold as a private company to Mike Doyle and Steve Onderdonk, and renamed Econolite Control Products, Inc. The new owners re-organize and streamline the company, returning it to profitability within an astounding 3-month period.
Launch of KMC Controllers
Econolite launches the KMC line of controllers as successors to the SEC, SPC and EMC lines.
First Closed-Loop Arterial System
This year marks the beginning of a period of important breakthroughs for traffic systems control with Econolite’s introduction of the first distributed closed-loop arterial system. The closed-loop system employs on-street arterial masters to control groups of intersections through telemetry interconnect, as well as using telephone dial-up techniques to communicate directly with a personal computer.
A Warm Welcome to Canada
Intersection Monitor is introduced as a follow-up to Econolite’s Master Monitor and Central Monitor systems. This device allows the closed-loop system to virtually monitor any controller, regardless of manufacturer or type. Econolite Canada is incorporated in Scarborough, Ontario, to serve a solid base of existing Econolite customers previously serviced by Canada General Electric. Offices open in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, as well as a manufacturing facility to provide product and services to Canadian customers.
Econolite teams with Image Sensing Systems and the University of Minnesota to create Autoscope, the first in a revolutionary line of multi-sensor video vehicle detection systems, referred to as “machine vision.”
Aries is Released
Aries is released, setting the new standard for Windows-based traffic management systems.
Map the Way with Icons
Econolite, in strategic partnership with Gardner Transportation Systems, introduces a large-scale central control system called icons. This new system, employing open architecture and the latest in system communications and graphics, meets new federal guidelines as an Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS). Econolite also launches the ASC/2S series of controllers, the next generation of the ASC/2 and ASC-8000 controller line.
Econolite is among the first in the industry to receive its ISO 9002 accreditation from AOQC Moody International, Inc.
New Millennium, New Detection
Econolite looks into the new millennium with Autoscope Solo Pro, the latest advancement in video detection. Econolite also celebrates its ISO 9001 accreditation, which is the highest level of certification required by the International Organization for Standardization.
Team Econolite is Formed
Team Econolite, a traffic engineering and maintenance company, is formed. Through a partnership with TrafficWerks, Econolite introduces DCMS, a product that provides real-time traffic data retrieval and management. Econolite also acquires AECOM Systems Integration Group, which adds both PYRAMIDS and OASIS to the Systems product line.
Happy 70th Anniversary!
Econolite’s 70th birthday is celebrated with an enhanced slate of Autoscope products, including the Autoscope 2020, Autoscope RackVision, and the new Autoscope Wizard automatic camera setup feature. Econolite also receives its 9001:2000 accreditation from AOQC Moody International, Inc. as an update to the previous standards.
Econolite Around the World
With a newly expanded presence in South America, Econolite International is formed and proud to announce representation and distribution in over 30 countries worldwide.
The Econolite Group, Inc. Family
Econolite Group, Inc. is formed as the operating company that includes Econolite, California Chassis, Team Econolite, Arroyo Holdings de Mexico, and both Econolite International and Econolite Canada. In July, Safetran Traffic Systems, Inc. joins the Econolite Group, Inc. family of companies.
Aegis ITS is Formed
Aegis ITS® was formed, initially as a services solution group. Team Econolite was integrated into Aegis ITS® a few years later, widening this brand’s offerings to include maintenance, engineering, installation and integration.
Celebrating 80 Years
Econolite celebrates its 80th anniversary with the introduction of the Cobalt ATC traffic controller, which uses an industry-leading touchscreen and GUI to offer unprecedented ease-of-use, along with an all-new mobile app.
Sensors for Every Scenario
Econolite expands its sensor offerings to include new in-ground and radar-based solutions, along with best-in-class video detection technology.
Econolite introduces the revolutionary new ATC controller software solution, EOS.
Saving Lives Through Improved Mobility
Econolite’s Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) solutions ease traffic congestion, provide safer mobility and improve quality of life. As we continue to move forward in these unprecedented times, Econolite remains committed to the advancement of connected and autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and cybersecurity. More history to be made…
D Series (Retired Circa 1970's)
Novelty Motion Lamps
(Retired Circa 1967)
Silkscreen Art Prints
(Retired Circa 1967)