In 1892, Arthur H. Thomas joined the microscope department of the the James W. Queen Company, a leading supplier of optical and scientific equipment in the 1800’s, It is there that he met Mr. J. Edward Patterson, who had joined the company in 1890. After the death of Mr. Queen, the business began to decline, causing many employees to leave for other businesses or to start their own. In 1899, Mr. Thomas left to start his own company and Mr. Patterson joined Charles Lentz & Sons, who were agents for the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company.
Mr. Patterson would often visit Mr. Thomas and cooperation between the companies continued. This eventually led to a landmark meeting on December 7, 1900 at the Hotel Walton in Philadelphia. A new company and partnership was organized and incorporated as the Arthur H. Thomas Company, and the company opened its first place of business in the Freeman building at 12th & Walnut Streets in Philadelphia.
Mr. Thomas passed away in 1942. Mr. Patterson managed the company until his death in 1955. He was succeeded by his son Edward B. Patterson. The third and fourth generation Patterson family members are still actively involved in the company. The company moved to a new seven story headquarters at 3rd & Vine Streets in 1956, on property once owned by the father of Betsy Ross.
In 1983 the company formally changed the name to Thomas Scientific, and in 1984 built a new corporate headquarters in Swedesboro, NJ where they are still in operation.
Orianna Street at Vine Street [map]