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Idman Lighting Catalogue 135 – 1953
Idman Lighting Catalogue 135 – 1953

Karl Hjalmar Idman (1872-1924) started his business with a shop in 1897. At first he sold lamps, glass, porcelain, restaurant supplies and oil lamps.

In 1919 he sold his shop in the city of Pori and moved back to the Finnish capital Helsinki were he started his lighting company Hjalmar Idman Oy in 1920. His associates were Einar Ahlström and Jalmari Ahlström.

Hjalmar Idman Oy mainly sold crystal glass. When Hjalmar Idman died in 1924, his wife Astrid Idman sold the shares to Ahlström and continued working for the company. The Hjalmar Idman Oy name was kept and the name switch to Idman Oy took place in 1928.

In the early 1930s the wholesale of electrical supplies imported from Germany began. At the end of the decade Idman Oy started producing its own lighting and also began manufacturing incandescent light bulbs. In 1932, the subsidiary Neonteho started making neon signs. The company was owned by Idman Oy  and Jalmari Ahlström. After Ahlström’s death in 1944 the plant was closed and was merged with Idman Oy.

Paavo Tynell

In 1953Idman Oy, acquired the majority of shares in Taito Oy, the company of Paavo Tynell. Paavo Tynell continued to work for the company on a freelance basis, through his own design firm.

In the early 1960s Taito was closed and the production was moved to Mikkeli. Designers that worked for the company at that time were, amongst others: Tapio WirkkalaMauri Almariand Maria Lindeman.

In 1965 Idman abandoned the electrical wholesale department and focused mere on lighting.


In 1981 Idman Oy was acquired by Nokia. In 1988, the company was renamed SLO-Idman Oy, and that was the official end of the old Idman company. Valasinpaja Oy, another light company would merge with Idman in 1990 (completed in 1995) and the company was again named Idman Oy.

Nokia sold Idman in 1993 to AEG Holding Finnland Oy. AEG sold out its lighting business including ldman and it was bought by Philips from The Netherlands.

Today Idman is part of the Safegate group and they manufacture airport lighting (since 2009) as Idman Airport Lighting Oy.