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The company's origins date back to 1865, when a Limoges porcelain (in France's Limousin region) workshop was set up on the route to Lyon originally making porcelain dishes.
In 1904, the company was taken over by Frédéric Legrand, who gave his name to the company.
In 1919, the company entered into partnership with Jean Mondot, an artisan from Limoges who had started, in Exideuil, a small factory making electric switches using porcelain and boxwood.
Manufacturing subsequently gradually diversified into electrical equipment. At that time, before the appearance of plastic, porcelain was the best available insulating material.
In 1949, following a factory fire, the decision was made to concentrate exclusively on electrical wiring devices (switches and sockets). The company very quickly extended its range to cover protection products (fuse-holders and circuit breakers, etc.), cable management products (trunking and mini-trunking), emergency lighting, etc.
Since then, Legrand has made 120 targeted acquisitions, thus becoming a large, diversified maker of electrical wiring devices with more than 150,000 product items. As of 2006, it has bases in 70 countries and sales in 180 countries.