The year was 1946. The war was over, and the boys were coming home. As Sid Bloom and Sam Resnick stood on the deck of a battleship steaming west across the Atlantic, they struck up a conversation that would become a lifelong friendship and a booming business.
Sid and Sam talked about starting a business together. What kind of business would surely require a great deal of research and planning. Or maybe not. One said to the other, "Look, everyone uses light bulbs, right? Why not go into electrical supplies?" Their minds were made up.
So in 1947 they opened Barbizon Electric in lower Manhattan with four employees and a product line ranging from light bulbs to toaster ovens to, eventually, AC Gilbert toy trains.
The lamps moved a whole lot faster than the trains, and by the early 1950s, had become the focus of Barbizon's business. Television was still in its infancy, but Sid and Sam saw the opportunity to be a major supplier for the industry. So, while many were dismissing the new quartz/halogen lighting as a fad, Sid and Sam championed it, preaching its benefits to anyone in TV who would listen. Barbizon kept a vast supply of stock, and network engineers quickly learned they could count on Sid and Sam.
The company boomed, and its reputation reached into other parts of entertainment. Film, commercial and theatrical groups all had unique needs, and Barbizon was always there to meet them. Last minute production headaches became Barbizon's daily order of business.
After several moves, Barbizon settled in its present home in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York. With networks and the film community on the Westside and Broadway to the East, this became the perfect location. And with more space available, Barbizon increased its inventory and product lines.
Sid and Sam complemented each other perfectly. Sid was the consummate salesman, spending his days with anyone who would let him in their office. Sam was the inside man - the guy who always knew exactly what was in stock and would get you just the right price. Together, they turned Barbizon from a tiny storefront selling light bulbs and toaster ovens into the one stop source for production professionals.
More than 60 years later, that's what Barbizon still is. From being one of the early promoters of the HMI lamp in the 1970s, to New York's exclusive distributor of Mole-Richardson products in the 1980s, Barbizon has always stayed at the forefront of new technologies and trends.
A second generation is now at the helm, something Sid and Sam could never have foreseen from the deck of the battleship. Jonathan Resnick now is the President/CEO of the company, and Barbizon continues to grow with the same commitment to quality and service. From its humble beginnings, Barbizon now fills the lighting equipment needs for the entertainment industry nationally and globally from locations across the United States and now in Australia, India and the United Kingdom.