Fernand Porgès 1898

Fernand Porgès in 1898 (Paris)

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Excerpts from the 1905 Porgès catalogue

To see the historical 1905 catalogue, click here

To see the present products, click here

To see the site of Porges Laboratories France, click here


The early manufacturing process
(click on any picture to see a full size view)
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Dévidage de la soie
Atelier de tissage

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Fabrication de la gomme

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Imperméabilisation des bandages
Atelier de gommage
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Finissage des sondes et canules en caoutchouc
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Fabrication de la feuille en caoutchouc à moulage
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Atelier de confection
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Atelier de ponçage
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Atelier de polissage
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Séchoirs

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Soufflage du verre

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Porgès Laboratories
were created in Sarlat
(Dordogne, France)
by Fernand Porgès
on December 10, 1893.

The company specialized in the manufacturing of catheters and medical devices for urology and general surgery.

The labor intensive process consisted in weaving sheaths of silk fibers that were dipped in natural gum then hand finished ('eyes' punching, polishing and marking with silver and gold films).

The company grew rapidly, due to steady export sales to eastern Europe.

Jules Porgès, Fernand's younger brother, emigrated from Vienna to France and joined the company at the turn of the century. He later became a partner, and acquired the French citizenship in 1905.
René and Lucien (sons of Fernand), Richard and Raoul (sons of Jules) succeeded their fathers and developed the business successfully. The company had its main offices in Paris (Bd Magenta) and two manufacturing facilities, one in Sarlat (a small city in the South West of France) and one at Les Lilas (a Paris suburb). During World War II, the company was confiscated and fictitiously taken over by two friendly families from Lyons and Périgord, who managed the company and turned it back to the Porgès family at the end of the war.

After the war, René, Lucien, Raoul and Richard Porgès established their headquarters in Paris (Quai Anatole France) and restarted the business from scratch. They introduced polymers (PVC), then a revolutionary innovation, in the manufacturing of catheters in replacement of woven silk. The company became rapidly a world leader in its field. In the 1950's, the processing of latex was introduced for the manufacturing of balloon Foley catheters, which became the company's main production.
In the late 1960's, the sons of Lucien and René succeeded their fathers to run the company.

In 1974, a U.S. subsidiary, Porges Catheter Corporation, was created in New York City (54 W 54th St).

In 1979, the Porgès family sold the company to Synthelabo, the pharmaceutical subsidiary of L'Oreal.
It then employed 600 people and shared the world market of medical catheters with C.R. Bard (U.S.A.) and Rusch (Germany).

In February 2001, Sanofi Synthélabo sold the company to Mentor Corporation.

Acquitisiton
of Porgès by Mentor :
To read the full story
click here

In 2006, Porgès was sold by Mentor to Coloplast