From the first toothbrush to the globally active company

At the end of the 19th century the company already had a workforce of 30 who were mainly employed to manufacture hair and household brushes. It wasn’t until 1903 that the first toothbrush was produced in Triengen. At the end of the 1930s, manual tufting machines largely replaced the work done solely by hand. Tufting machines and various semi-automatic processes were among the most important innovations of the 1940s. In the 1950s, together with the University of Zurich, the first academic paper on toothbrushes was published. Since the mid-1960s, the participative management and participation model has turned employees into co-entrepreneurs. The concentration of the Swiss brush industry and strong growth of TRISA characterized the seventies and eighties. In 1989, TRISA took over the Walther brand and the brush factory Ebnat Kappel AG. In 1996, the sales company TRISA Bulgaria GmbH was founded, and in 1998, TRISA Accessoires AG, another parent company division, became independent.

  • TRISA History

    In 1836, four young men from Triengen, in the canton of Lucerne, set about exporting the local art of linen-weaving to Wiesenthal, a valley in the Black Forest. Whilst there, they learnt the art of brush making. In 1885, commercial brush production started up in Triengen. Two years later, however, operations had to be closed down. In 1887, six citizens from Triengen founded yet another brush factory, known today as TRISA. The new entrepreneurs were blessed with a pioneering spirit, a belief in the future and brimming with confidence.

  • 1887

    When all started

    August 25th – Founding of «Bürstenfabrik AG» in Triengen by six citizens of the village. Share capital CHF 40’000. Ferdinand Kost, known as «Bürstenferdi» becomes the first foreman.

  • 1887

    Management

    Xaver Pfenniger-Vonarburg takes over as commercial manager.

  • 1902

    Activation

    Building of a brush wood production plant and commissioning of an own electric power station.

  • 1903

    Brushes

    Production of the first hand-drawn toothbrushes with wooden handles. Manufacturing of hairbrushes, clothes brushes, hat brushes, moustache brushes, shaving brushes and many other brush types for household and agriculture.

  • 1908

    The range is growing

    The product catalogue contains 196 brushes for hair- and body care as well as brushes for the farming sector.

  • 1917

    Expansion

    The main building is extended integrating a new saw mill.

  • 1921

    Extension

    Meanwhile the product range comprises no less than 39 toot and 150 hairbrush models.

  • 1926

    Marketing

    First advertising campaign for the «Dora» toothbrush.

  • 1932

    Management

    Ernst Pfenniger-Häfliger joins the «Bürstenfabrik AG», Triengen and takes over as Managing Director in 1941.

  • 1940

    Improvement

    Hydraulic tufting machines increasingly replace handdrawing.

  • 1942

    Enlargement

    Major expansion of the main building.

  • 1948

    Change

    «Bürstenfabrik AG» , Triengen uses semi-automatic production machinery and changes its name into TRISA, which stems from: TRI – for TRIengen and SA – for Société Anonyme (plc).

  • 1952

    First mechanically rounded bristle ends

    Scientifically developed toothbrushes with nylon filaments are generated in close cooperation with the Universities of Zurich and Lausanne.

  • 1961

    Change of Management

    Ernst Pfenniger-Unternährer, lic. nat. oec., joins TRISA and takes over as Managing Director in 1967.

  • 1964

    Upgrade

    Construction of a new production site in 1964. In 1968 social equality is implemented followed by the employees’ share capital participation in 1972. 

  • 1974

    Development

    Another new building doubles the production area.

  • 1978

    New ways

    TRISA develops and produces its own electric toothbrush.

  • 1989

    Ebnat Starting

    Acquisition of the «Walther» brand and the «Bürstenfabrik Ebnat-Kappel AG».

  • 1989

    Change of leadership

    Adrian Pfenniger, lic. oec. HEC, joins TRISA in 1989, his brother Philipp Pfenniger, graduate ETH engineer, in 1994. Both have been members of the Executive Board since the mid-1990s.

  • 1991

    Existence and success

    In 1991 TRISA is awarded the «Annual Swiss Marketing Prize» by the Swiss Marketing Association (GfM) and is certified for the first time to the ISO 9001/EN 29001 standard.

  • 1995

    Development

    Launch of the first 2-component toothbrush «TRISA flexActiv».

  • 1996

    Expansion

    TRISA Bulgaria GmbH is founded.

  • 1998

    Expansion

    The most modern toothbrush production facility in Europe with a production area of 7,735 m2 is inaugurated. The ecological wooden building with its own 100 kWh solar plant receives various awards. The building is already extended in 2006.

  • 1998

    Extension

    TRISA Accessoires AG is founded.

  • 2004

    Extension

    TRISA Electronics AG constructs its own ecological new building with a 75 kWh solar plant.

  • 2004

    Innovation

    TRISA launches a world innovation: The sonic toothbrush Sonicpower. In 2006 the company is awarded the «Marketing Trophy» from Swiss Marketing for this product.

  • 2008

    Development/Expansion

    TRISA AG expands the production plant in «Werk 3» which had been purchased in 2001. 

  • 2010

    AFT Technology

    TRISA becomes the global leader in AFT-technology (Anchor Free Tufting) for toothbrushes.

  • 2013

    TRISA installs an oil-free woodchip heating

    The age of fossil fuel heating is a thing of the past at TRISA.

  • 2015

    Extension

    Start-up of the fully automated high-bay warehouse with optimized, environmentally friendly logistics.

  • 2016

    Range expansion

    Launch of the TRISA Visage and the second generation of TRISA Sonicpower.

  • 2019

    Wooden toothbrushes

    With TRISA Natural Clean, we launched an environmentally friendly wooden toothbrush. The handle of these toothbrushes is made from FSC-certified Swiss beech wood. The soft bristles and the brush head are based on a renewable raw material obtained from the castor bean plant.

  • 2020

    For our environment

    Toothbrushes made of sustainable materials are becoming an important market segment. TRISA is pushing the development of high-quality products with environmentally friendly materials.