Blue Salmson GSS from 1926
Salmson is a French engineering company. Initially a pump manufacturer, it turned to automobile and aeroplane manufacturing in the 20th century, returning to pump manufacturing in the 1960s, and re-expanded to a number of products and services in the late 20th and into the 21st century. It is headquartered in Chatou and has production facilities in Laval. It has subsidiaries in Argentina, Italy, Lebanon, Portugal, South Africa and Vietnam.
It was established by Émile Salmson (1858-1917) as Emile Salmson, Ing. as a workshop in Paris (1890), making steam-powered compressors and centrifugal pumps for railway and military purposes. Subsequently, joined by engineers George Canton and Georg Unné, it was renamed Emile Salmson & Cie, building petrol-powered lifts and motors (1896).
The company became one of the first to make purpose-built aircraft engines, starting before World War I and continuing into World War II.
After World War I the company looked around for other work and started making car bodies and then complete cars.
Car production finished in 1957.
Focus also moved back to pump production and the facilities moved to Mayenne in 1961. The firm was bought by ITT-LMT in 1962 then by Thomson in 1976 and by Wilo in 1984.
Its headquarters today are in Chatou.