The History of Star Headlight and Lantern Co., Inc.


The Tradition Shines On!


Star Headlight and Lantern Co,. Inc. was founded in 1889 by five founding owners. Four months later, George Washington Jacobs bought the sole controlling interest. Since then, the company has maintained production in Rochester NY and its vicinity with the current headquarters and manufacturing center in Avon, New York. The Jacobs family has guided the company through five generations of leadership to become a leader in the rail, amber light and emergency lighting markets.


David and Christopher


Our growth and a continuing effort to enhance our position as the leading amber light company have led to a move to a larger, more spacious facility and expanded our product line.

Still located in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York, the new facility accommodates all of our in-house electronic and finished product assembly along with plastic injection molding, metal fabrication, product engineering, warehousing, shipping, customer service, sales, and technical support. Having all of these functions under one roof gives us the capability to engineer, build, expedite, and ship your product more efficiently!

Our ISO 9001-2008 Certification and its ongoing programs have further developed our commitment to quality and customer service. We are determined to increase our industry advantage in providing you with the most reliable, state-of-the-art warning systems.

In February of 2000 STAR very proud to acquire the Signal Vehicle Products brand name and its assets. Established in 1974, Signal Vehicle Products is a leader in the police/fire emergency vehicle products industry, and its product line will provide extensive, value-added synergy to our own warning systems product offering. The entire SVP operation has been moved to New York from Florida so that we can take full advantage of our technology and advanced manufacturing capabilities.

Since 1889, Star Headlight & Lantern Co., Inc., and our family of dedicated employees have brought superior quality, service, and customer commitment to a level unmatched in the industry. Today and into the future, we will continue to meet your needs with the same enthusiasm for which we have become known over the last 125 years.

We look forward to working with you. We realize that our customers are our most valuable asset.


The company's history is divided into five eras correlating to the five generations of the Jacobs family ownership.
To view an eras, click on one of the five pictures below.


First Generation Second Generation Third Generation Fourth Generation Fifth Generation
George Washington Jacobs - Click for more info Albert W. Jacobs - Click for more info Berwin Jacobs  - Click for more info David W. Jacobs - Click for more info Christopher D. Jacobs - Click for more info
(1893-1902) (1903-1948) (1949-1974) (1974-2008) (2008-Present)

Since 1889 Star Headlight and Lantern Co., Inc. has been the leader in emergency vehicle safety lighting products such as STAR amber warning lighting systems, Star Signal Vehicle Products red and blue police vehicle lighting, lightbars, backup alarms, LED lighting, vehicle safety lighting, STAR railroad lanterns and personal safety strobes. We also produce Bradford vehicle dashboard, deck and console mounting systems, and replacement bulbs. Our years of experience and state of the art manufacturing facility in Avon, N.Y. continue to intensify the dedication to quality and service you have come to expect from us.