Rosco celebrates its 100th year in business in 2007. The company, headquartered in Jamaica, N.Y., was founded in 1907 as A.W. Rosen & Co., to produce parts for the fledgling automotive business. Today, the company continues to serve the same industry, producing mirrors, visors and other visual safety systems for the commercial vehicle market.
Page from 1929 Rosco catalog.
During the first half of the 20th century, A.W. Rosen & Co., or Rosco, as it became better known, produced a wide range of products for the automotive industry, including mirrors, head and tail lamps, spot and dome lights, switches, and a variety of machined parts. The business grew rapidly in the first few decades and remained steady despite the desire to stay small enough to handle custom design work, and continue the close, friendly relationships established with its partners in the industry.
In 1961, Sol Englander, a young machinist and designer who had worked for Rosco for several years, purchased the company. Over the next two decades, Englander would transform Rosco into a provider to the heavy automotive industry. By 1980, Rosco was a trusted name in the commercial transportation industry, selling to makers of buses, walk-in vans, heavy trucks and specialized vehicles. The company was known for its ability to develop and manufacture custom products quickly.
In the early 1990s, Rosco’s focus on custom product design and quality control enabled it become a U.S. military supplier under Military Specification MIL-I-45208. The company still provides mirrors to government and military vehicle makers, including AM General’s Humvee, and the civilian version Hummer H1.
Also during the 1990s, Rosco strengthened its position in the school bus market where mirror systems are highly scrutinized and safety is tantamount. Today Rosco’s mirrors are standard on every major school bus manufacturer’s vehicle offerings. These mirrors comply with FMVSS-111, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard for mirrors.
As the company approaches its 100th anniversary in the automotive industry, it remains focused on the heavy automotive market and on providing excellent quality products that are custom-designed for today’s specialized vehicle needs.