The name Progress Products is synonymous with high quality optical
components. For over seventy years we have been manufacturing and supplying
optical components to the wholesale industry. We are a company founded upon
a family reputation, which itself commemorated its 120th
anniversary in 2010.
70 Years of Progress
The original predecessor of Progress Products was formed in Frankfurt
a. M. Germany in 1890 by Ferdinand Birkenstein. Named F. Birkenstein & Co,
the company specialised in high quality, gold filled optical frames and soon
expanded in Rathenow and Wicker.
Ferdinandís son Eric joined the company and the business prospered to become
one of the largest frame factories in Germany. As war approached in the
late 1930ís, Eric Birkenstein arrived in England and was joined by Margrit,
later to become his wife.
They soon found a suitable factory in Harlesden, a suburb of London, and on
7 September 1939 Progress Products was registered. Several drilling
machines were obtained and Eric built the first Windsor Rim machine
himself. This was similar to the one used in his fatherís factory in
Germany and ensured the highest standards of production. The business
continued through the war and gradually expanded until 1956, when it moved
to a larger factory in Uxbridge, Middlesex.
In 1975 Eric Birkenstein died suddenly and his son Philip took over the
business. 1989 was a momentous year with not only the 50th
anniversary of Progress Products, but also the 50th anniversary
of Margrit Birkenstein working at the company.
Today we continue to manufacture Cyrex Washers which we believe is the only
lens washer to be manufactured by hand and supply optical components
accessories for metal, plastic and combination frames which are exported to
all parts of the world. We deliver the highest standards that had
originally been set 120 years previously and we are proud of our reputation.
We are so confident our products speak for themselves and therefore believe
the best way for you to appreciate their quality is to see them for
yourself. We will be happy to send the samples you require. Simply
complete the relevant boxes, specifying the component and colours and email
We look forward to hearing from you.