The story of Nimlok begins with its colourful founder, a photographer named Neil Nimmo.
Neil’s career began when he served as an RAF bomber pilot in World War 2. He was shot down in France and hidden by the Resistance until the country was liberated by the US army. A resourceful man, after the war Neil became a successful commercial photographer. Finding that he needed a portable backdrop for presenting his photo shoots to large corporate clients around the world, he set out to construct one. And in doing so, invented what was to become a portable display system.
The market for portable photography backdrops at the time proved limited, but there was a demand emerging for modular and portable displays, for which Neil’s invention, with a little modification, was ideal. Neil sought the assistance of some commercial friends and, in 1970 a man named Gerald Perutz became one of the founding shareholders of the new business in London.
Pioneering modular displays
One of the distinctive features of the display system that Neil invented was that it locked with remarkable firmness. And so the name ‘Nimlok’ was conceived from a combination of the inventors name and this distinctive locking feature. As with many ventures the first year started slowly. However early challenges were overcome and a business plan was developed to grow the company. By the late 1970’s Nimlok had grown to the exciting figure of L1million in annual sales.
In 1977 Gerald Perutz moved with his family to the US to pursue a career in corporate America. His elder son, Simon Perutz, took on the challenge of bringing Nimlok into the US launching the company there in 1981. In 1984, Nimlok expanded into Canada.
When Neil Nimmo died in 1987 the Perutz family bought his interest in Nimlok. In 1992 Tim Perutz, Gerald’s younger son, joined Nimlok making it a truly family business. The ‘3P’s’ as they are affectionately known, remain at the helm of our growing business today.