The story of Flexlume is written in the signs of America.

We didn’t start with a sign. We started with an idea.

Flexlume channel letter sign

About Flexlume Sign Company

Flexlume's history portraying company's vintage signage

Our Story

The mesmerizing theater marquee, the stalwart and trusted bank, the refinement of the shoe store, and the glee of that special trip to the candy shop.  Flexlume‘s history has been so many changes through cultural shifts, two world wars, and technological breakthroughs, which continue at breakneck speed.  And yet the fundamentals endure - craftsmanship, functionality, quality, and service.  These characteristics make up the very foundation of Flexlume, an innovator and American icon maker that guides, persists, and outlasts.

For over 100 years, Flexlume has been an innovator within the sign industry.  We don’t simply produce signs, we design, develop, and build brands.  As a business owner or contractor, you have many decisions to consider. 

Our Mission

Flexlume Sign Company's mission is to provide every customer with an innovative and reliable solution to their marketing challenges, leveraging over 100 years of industry experience and knowledge.  These solutions are further enabled by state-of-the-art software solutions which maintain production schedules, reduce lead times and improve communication between customers, suppliers and partners.

Flexlume encourages ALL team members to serve each and every client with care and  attention to detail, and to operate with a sense of pride and urgency.  Most importantly, we pride ourselves on getting it right.  "Good enough" is never an acceptable standard.  No stone is ever left unturned to ensure that everything possible is done to not only meet, but to exceed our customers' expectations. 




In 1904, Roy Wiley along with his brother, Wallace, and W.S. Hough joined forces to produce molded white opal glass letters to push through a sign face and illuminated them from the rear.  This was the process that would create "flexible-illumination", from which the name Flexlume was born.  Roy Wiley built the business on the model of quality and craftsmanship, fighting against the policies of his competition which he referred to as “business at any price”.  His dedication to quality and craftsmanship first are still remain deeply held values at Flexlume.


In 1911, after years of experimenting and perfecting their craft, the company moved to Buffalo, New York from Canada to expand their operations and market access.


Flexlume constructed a 125,000 square foot plant in 1924.  At the time, this was the world’s largest plant dedicated solely to the manufacturing of electric signs.


With a solid customer base of financial institutions, automotive dealers, and movie theaters, the company grew to as many as 500 employees, despite The Great Depression. Many of western New York’s classic marquee’s were built by Flexlume and can still be seen in use today


During World War II, all available steel resources were diverted to the war effort and Flexlume was forced to briefly close its doors. It was at that time, F.A. (Al) Rowell Purchased the company.


In 1946 the company moved it to its current location, 1464 Main St., where Flexlume has been producing the worlds greatest signs since.


Ready to move into retirement and a simpler life Paddy Rowell sold Flexlume to Curtis Martin and Tom Hanft, who began their mission of restoring the company to the prominence it held for so many years.


Having exceeded the capacity of its building on Main Street in Buffalo, it finally became time to move on.  In October, 2023 Flexlume moved into its brand new 30,000 sq. ft. headquarters near Lake Erie in Lackawanna, NY.  This new facility will increase the company's capacities and capabilities in all areas from project management to manufacturing.

Who Flexlume Is Today

It’s been nearly a century since Flexlume paved the way for sign companies by developing one of the first national networks for its industry.

Now 114 years later, we have been able to carry out the legacy that the originators of this company built. Provide all of our customers with a competent solution for their needs by leveraging over 100 years of industry experience and knowledge.

Most important, we pride ourselves on getting it right. “Ok or good enough" is an unacceptable standard; we make sure we do everything we can to meet our customers' standards and exceed their expectations. 

Why Work with Flexlume

We have 65+ years of experience operating on a national scale supply chain by
nurturing long-term relationships with our partners and suppliers.

The field experience that Flexlume requires from our lead project managers allows us the ability to assess on-site issues at a
faster rate, instruct technicians on how to address those issues and then clearly articulate to our clients how we resolved them.
By streamlining this process, we’ve been able to reduce costs for our clients.

We have a unique ability to execute projects that most companies don’t even want to touch.  From the
restoration of an old theatre marquee to a corporate re-brand, our capabilities are endless.

From the Flexlume Blog

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