A brief history of George Lewin and Triton Manufacturing Co
George Lewin was a 25-year old journalist working at ABC-TV News in Melbourne, when he invented the original Triton saw bench in early 1975. At the time, he was struggling with his first woodwork project since schooldays - a dining table.
Unable to cut straight and square with a hand saw, he'd bought a 21/2 hp circular saw thinking it would solve his problems. But those cuts were even worse, and the saw felt dangerous to use, so he cobbled up a crude but ingeneous bench in which to safely mount the saw and acheive accurate cuts.
Realizing the potential of the idea, he took out a patent, had a professional prototype built, and tried for the next 16 months to interest various manufacturers, marketers, wholesalers and retailers in the concept. Many expressed interest, but no-one took it on.
Running out of patience and money, and faced with letting the idea die, he turned his home and garage into a factory, found contractors who agreed to work largely on credit, and started making the first batch of 100 units, the minimum commercial quantity.He had no idea how he was going to sell them, and was prepared to go door-to-door if necessary to prove that it was a good idea.
But on July 6th 1976, George appeared on 'The Inventors@ on ABC-TV and suddenly found he had the hottest new idea in hardware ! He was inundated with orders. Handymen and women and retailers- who'd previously all told him to get lost-were now begging him for stock. As well,hundreds of unsolicited cheques poured in from viewers anxious to get their hands on one.
He quit journalism and became a backyard manufacturer, plunging into a nightmarish world where he was totally unskilled and ill-equipped. He learnt frantically on the job-working up to twenty hours a day, seven days a week for the first five years.He was in a minefield, and stepped on many mines, but fortunately, none were fatal- thanks to the TV publicity and the full order book.
The phenominal and ongoing national demand insulated the fledgling busines for those first critical years while George Lewin built a virtually 100% Australian infrastructure, employing hundreds of people and producing almost $300 million in sales from 1976 to 1999. Total sales approached the $500m mark by 2005
From the early 1990's Triton Owners Clubs began spontaneously emerging in Australia and overseas-set up by devoted fans of the company and its products.
Triton Precision Power Tools thrive today through more innovation and expertise