In 1836, four young men from Triengen, in the canton of Lucerne, set about exporting the local art of linen-weaving to Wiesenthal, a valley in the Black Forest. Whilst there, they learnt the art of brush making. In 1885, commercial brush production started up in Triengen. Two years later, however, operations had to be closed down. In 1887, six citizens from Triengen founded yet another brush factory, known today as TRISA. The new entrepreneurs were blessed with a pioneering spirit, a belief in the future and brimming with confidence.
First toothbrush and the progress towards the TRISA Group
At the end of the 19th century the company already had a workforce of 30 who were mainly employed to manufacture hair and household brushes. It wasn’t until 1903 that the first toothbrush was produced in Triengen. At the end of the 1930s, manual tufting machines largely replaced the work done solely by hand. Tufting machines and various semi-automatic processes were among the most important innovations of the 1940s. In the 1950s, together with the University of Zurich, the first academic paper on toothbrushes was published. Since the mid-1960s, the participative management and participation model has turned employees into co-entrepreneurs. The concentration of the Swiss brush industry and TRISA’s strong growth dominated the 1970s and 80s. In 1989, TRISA acquired the Walther brand and the Ebnat Kappel AG brush factory. In 1992, TRISA, as the first European toothbrush factory, was certified according to ISO. The distribution company TRISA Bulgaria GmbH was founded in 1996 whilst in 1998 two further companies, TRISA Accessoires AG and TRISONIC AG became autonomous. TRISA Accessoires AG is a Swiss leading player in the field of hair and fashion jewellery, whilst TRISONIC AG focuses on the production of electrical toothbrushes.
More than a million toothbrushes per day
The employee and family enterprise, TRISA, is already being managed by the fourth generation of the Pfenniger family. Each generation has built up its know-how from the previous generation, accompanied by business sense and creativity. Whilst around 50,000 toothbrushes were produced annually in the 1950, this figure has risen to more than a million each day. TRISA has thus become an internationally operating high-tech company with about 1,100 employees working for the group.