History of UL


In 1894 William Henry Merrill founded Underwriters Laboratories or UL. “Underwriters’ Electrical Bureau” was the original name of Underwriters Laboratories. Then, in 1903 they published their first literature on safety titled “Tin-Clad Fire Doors”. The safety lab leaped into modern testing with their certification of the first motor-driven phonograph in 1907. As a result of keeping up with the times, one hundred years later they made another leap with their testing of the modern CD player.

Recognition of the Testing Lab

Underwriters Laboratories has become the best known and recognized independent testing lab in the world. Therefore, They perform testing on a range of products. Their testing procedures assess the quality and safety of the individual product.

According to their website “UL certifies, validates, tests, verifies, inspects, audits advises and educates.” They do all of these through the testing services they provide. UL does all of these for companies looking to ensure their products comply with regulations and safety. Products within the United States are not the only ones certified by UL. Companies worldwide also recognize UL’s certifications.

International Influences

UL studies international certification standards and practices. There is the same level of safety for products that are being used in the U.S.A. as those going outside of the states. Therefore, UL has made a strong effort to standardize safety requirements, protocol, and certifications around the world.

A Testing Lab

Most noteworthy is the important distinction that UL is very adamant about clarifying. Something UL wants well expressed is that they are a testing lab, not an approval lab. Also, they are not a government agency that has the right to approve any product for a consumer. However, their certification process is held at a high level. Due to this, the government takes their certification into account during the approval processes.

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