Progress Products have been manufacturing and supplying quality optical components for over 70 years - a company founded upon a family reputation itself commemorating its 120th anniversary in 2010


Introduction and History

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 to us.

We look forward to hearing from you.