The Tecnomasio Italiano was founded in 1864 by the mechanical engineer Carlo dell'Acqua, the engineer and mathematician Luigi Longoni, and the photographer Alessandro Duroni. The firm, which employed fifty workers in 1867, built excellent scientific instruments sold in large numbers throughout Italy (the 1865 catalogue described over 1,000 different items). In 1879, the Milanese engineer Bartolomeo Cabella was appointed general manager. Under his leadership, the company began its pioneering experiments in electrical lighting and turned to the production of industrial equipment. By the late nineteenth century, the workforce had expanded to more than 500. In 1903, as a result of financial problems, the Swiss firm Brown Boveri acquired a stake in the company, which changed its name to Tecnomasio Italiano Brown Boveri (TIBB). In the same period, the firm abandoned the production of teaching instruments altogether and refocused on industrial machinery and equipment.