The original nucleus of Cortellezzi Primo was opened by its founder, Cortellezzi Primo, towards the end of 1955, who had accrued considerable experience and skills working in large companies in the mechanics sector. In February 1956, with the help of his wife and after hiring his first employees, he began producing keys, cylinders and locks.
At the start, production was limited to the standard European cylinder and the round cylinders used for front doors of buildings; later, the product range was extended to include the threaded cylinders used for cabinet locks and mail boxes.
This was a key step in terms of going beyond standard production to add a line of ‘special’ products that opened up new opportunities in the industrial sector.
Thanks to the acquisition of new competencies developed in-house, in the early sixties the first product that increased the company’s notoriety was marketed. In fact, it was on the occasion of the Rome Olympics that a system was developed to block telephone dials in order to prevent international calls.
Primo’s son Franco joined the company in the early ‘70s, managed to establish collaborative projects with several Italian and foreign companies in need of ‘special’ or personalized cylinders that were hard to find elsewhere on the market. As the years passed, the company’s domestic and foreign business grew, both in hardware, with the standard product, and in the industrial sector, with the special products and other custom processes.
The company went through a tumultuous period of change during the ‘80s. In fact, in those years the company changed its form of incorporation, becoming Cortellezzi Primo & C srl, but remained in the hands of the family. Also during that time, the company began producing a very special line of gate chains, which became very popular and increased the company’s visibility with the public at large.
Capitalizing on this second success, in the ‘90s the company developed a vast series of prototypes based on the more than thirty years’ experience accumulated in the sector of cylinders and locks.
Not all of the prototypes went into production and were marketed. However, among those realized there were some worth remembering, such as the digital version of the ‘telephone dial lock’ of the ‘60s. In fact, in those years all the dial phones were being replaced by more up to date pushbutton models distributed by the national telephone company, SIP. Despite the evolution of the telephone itself, tariffs remained quite high and there was still a need to limit calls. In this case as well, there was a simple solution, based on a small lock, that resolved the problem.
In the new millennium, when Primo’s grandson Fabio joined the company, new locks were designed in collaboration with partners in the nautical and automotive sectors. In fact, these two sectors often have very special requirements that present stimulating challenges.
Starting in 2010, some collaborations and partnerships were set up with established clients, permitting the development of a special catalogue of accessories for wood, glass and aluminum products. In these years the company is continuing to design and develop prototypes of new creative solutions for problems involving locking mechanisms.