56 YEARS YOUNG – A CELEBRATION!
As UNICOL celebrates its 56th birthday, we turn back time to 1963 and take a meander down the leafy lanes of Oxford to Marston village, home of the first UNICOL building. A young man, who works in a Metallurgy Department, transforms a wooden shed into a fabricating plant. His father, who works as a teacher, introduces the new 35mm slide projectors into local schools, and asks his son to design a portable stand to demonstrate the new technology. The schools fall in love with the projectors and the portable stand and thus, the wooden shed becomes a production hub. To fully establish himself, the young man needed a company name, but what to call it? The portable stand, made of interconnecting components including a base, a platform and one column (made from 2” water pipe at the time), became the inspiration for the name. ‘One column’ = ‘uni col’ and thus UNICOL was born! The company has been synonymous with safely mounting AV equipment ever since.
But the start of UNICOL wasn’t the only exciting event to happen in 1963. The car industry welcomed the Porsche 911 and Lamborghini was formed in Italy. On the television (black & white in those days) the BBC first aired Dr Who. Martin Luther King delivered his ‘I have a dream’ speech and Malcolm X took a more strident tone in the civil rights movement ‘I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against’. John F Kennedy was assassinated. The Beeching report severely cut the UK rail system; £2.6 million was stolen in the Great Train Robbery; the first push button telephone was sold within the US; and the Beatles released their first album ‘Please, Please Me’. The cold war gripped world politics and a coup in Vietnam was the catalyst to start a war. Christine Keeler was arrested in the ‘Profumo affair’; double agent Kim Philby was given asylum in Moscow; and lighting the way for women, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space, orbiting the earth 48 times, then parachuting to earth from 20,000 feet!
Bringing us back to ‘now’ and UNICOL is still powering through in an industry that never ceases to sleep, back down or stop. The AV Industry has grown out of all proportions in a technological sense, we’re looking at technology that was only dreamed of in the 60’s. With the recent introduction of 5G; the ongoing development and integration of augmented and virtual reality; 8K screens and a realm of other ideas that are all designed to improve and enhance day-to-day life. Not only is it an exciting time for development but it is also an exciting time to be a mount manufacturer.
With technology rapidly changing, it certainly keeps us on our toes - always developing, always innovating and always supporting you. With staff that range from 18 – 80, UNICOL’s wealth of knowledge, perspectives and opinions ensures the products are reliable, robust and both ergonomic and aesthetic. This carefully collected knowledge is passed down from staff who have worked at the company for over 35 years! Whether you need advice; don’t understand how something works; want something custom; need it next day or just want to order from the catalogue, there is a wealth of knowledge, expertise and passion that is waiting to help you get started.
A birthday is a time for celebration! So whilst we may enjoy the party internally, we’d also like to encourage you, our customers whose support has continually empowered us, to join in and celebrate all of our ongoing commitment within the AV industry!