Our History

It All Began with a Curious Mind

The Gilson legacy began in the 1940s, while Dr. Warren Gilson was a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. He began to design and develop specialized medical electronics and instruments for his use and that of colleagues that were not commercially available. His driving motivation was to invent and improve on lab instruments to make research easier for scientists. One of his first efforts was a cathode ray recorder—a moving paper camera that recorded images from a cathode ray tube. It was later used in cardiac catheterization labs. By the early 1950s, Dr. Gilson developed an electroencephalograph (EEG), a device that records the brain’s electrical signals for diagnosing epilepsy, strokes, and tumors. He also focused on the oxygraph, a respiration system that measures oxygen consumption.

Building a Name in Scientific Instrumentation for Reliability

Through the years, the company’s focus broadened from specialized instruments for physiological applications to solutions for liquid handling, purification, and extraction applications. Gilson specializes in translating manual processes into automated solutions, helping researchers to get scientific results faster, while improving the traceability and reproducibility of their experiments. Today, Gilson remains family owned, and manufactures purification systems, automated liquid handlers, pipettes (including the renowned PIPETMAN® brand of pipettes), fraction collectors, solid phase extraction (SPE) systems, detectors, injectors, and much more. From academia to industry, Gilson delivers high-quality, dependable solutions to researchers.

Today, a Worldwide Presence Helping Scientists

Since 1957, Gilson’s headquarters has been located in Middleton, WI. To expand the product portfolio, the company opened new Centers of Excellence in various regions. In 1963, Gilson opened a manufacturing facility, northeast of Paris, France. In 2013, Pure Lab Plastics, a laboratory plastics manufacturer, joined the Gilson organization and also in 2013, another manufacturing facility was opened in Vannes, France. Gilson has local sales and service teams that include a comprehensive distribution network in countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific (APAC).