The International Telephone and Telegraph Company was founded in 1920 by Colonel Sosthenes Behn. Early takeovers formed the company into a worldwide leading conglomerate for telephone technology and other communication technologies - a role that was further supported by the company's expansion during World War II.
After the war ITT expanded in other trades such as automobile technology, satellite communication, liquid technologies, and even the hotel business with the takeover of Sheraton Hotels in the year 1968.
In 1979 the company started to sell off some of its wide spread fields of action. A process that reached its peak in 1995 with the split into three separate listed companies - ITT Industries, ITT Hartford Group and ITT Destinations. ITT Destinations, a service provider in the hospitality industry was later sold to Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The ITT Hartford Group, a subsidiary in the insurance industry was separated as Hartford Financial Services.
Today ITT Corp. is a worldwide operating enterprise with a turnover of 9 bln US$ in the year 2007 and leading positions in its four main areas of operations. Around 40.000 people are employed worldwide. The company is seated in White Plains, New York.
ITT is the worldwide leading supplier of pumps, systems, and services for the control and treatment of water and other liquids. The company is a main supplier of high-end military defense systems and offers its technical and operational services to a wide range of government agencies. Further, ITT produces plugs, switches, and wirings which are being used in telecommunications, computers, aviation, industrial applications, and networks. ITT is also a manufacturer of industrial components which are being used in transportation, construction, and aviation.
ITT's history in consumer electronics reaches back far into the year 1930 when ITT became a major shareholder in the company "Mix & Genest AG" which was founded in 1879 by Wilhelm Mix and Werner Gerest, as well as the company "C. Lorenz AG" which was founded in 1880 by Carl Lorenz. These two companies had their main fields of business in radio technology, whereas the "C. Lorenz AG" positioned itself with the takeover of the "G. Schaub Apparatebau-Gesellschaft mbH" in 1940 in the development and manufacturing of radio broadcast receivers. From 1950 on all products were manufactured by Schaub in the city of Pforzheim; in 1952 the model range of both companies was merged and the distribution of Lorenz radios was integrated in the company Schaub. From 1955 on all products were distributed under the brand name "Schaub-Lorenz". In 1958 the companies "Standard Elektrik AG" and "C. Lorenz AG" were merged into the "Standard Elektrik Lorenz AG" (SEL). From 1979 on this field of business was named "Audio-Video-Elektronik" and belonged to ITT; the products - such as television sets, radios, car radios, cassette recorders, world receivers, and speaker boxes - were being distributed under the brand name "ITT Schaub-Lorenz". In 1987 ITT established together with the French "Companie Générale d'Électricité" the European group of companies named "Alcatel n.v.", where the consumer electronics branch was sold to Nokia in early 1988. With that, Schaub-Lorenz, as well as the TV manufacturer Graetz, which was taken over by SEL in 1961, belonged to Nokia. From then on Nokia distributed consumer electronics products, such as television sets, video recorders, and amplifiers under the brand name "ITT Nokia". Nokia, however, soon quit the distribution of consumer electronics and focused on the manufacturing of mobile phones...