1947 : THE FOUNDATION OF ANTHOGYR


Advertising brochure ordered by Anthoine Émile et Fils in 1944 from Parisian printer Draeger.

Under the German occupation, France’s Vichy regime formed organization committees (Comités d’organisation - CO) to oversee the country’s economy and to set policy for branches of industry. At the initiative of one of the COs, Anthoine Émile et Fils began manufacturing dental instruments while continuing to take on subcontracting work for micromechanical parts.

The business was formed out of next to nothing, as indicated by a 1946 memo sent to the Minister of Industrial Production: “At the recommendation of the organization committee, three years ago we built a business from scratch manufacturing light dental devices.”At the same time, the Anthoine establishments learned how to operate 15 Tornos lathes, initially made to manufacture watch screws but which were easily adaptable to produce parts for dentistry instead. The company had its first dentistry clients in January 1943.

The Anthogyr brand was born that same year. The “Antho” in Anthogyr came from the Anthoine surname, while “gyr” came from the Greek word for “turning.” The suffix referred to both the lathe used in bar turning and the dentist’s drill. The company’s new business grew rapidly. 

"In 1943, Anthoine Émile et Fils began manufacturing dental instruments while continuing to take on subcontracting work for micromechanical parts"

In January 1944, ninety-five of the 208 names recorded in the order book placed orders for Anthogyr products! The success was proof of the need for dental instruments in France and Germany, but was also evidence of the “considerable effort” (the phrase used in a 1946 letter) put forth by the company to grow its business. The firm not only put its sales representative to work, it also designed advertising brochures printed by Draeger, the best printer in Paris.


The Anthogyr factory on Rue des Trois Lacs in Sallanches in the 1950s.

In 1947, four of Émile Anthoine’s grandsons laid claim to their share of the family business, causing the company to split. Anthogyr broke away from AEF and officially became an independent entity. After that, it was up to René Anthoine and his brothers to ensure the continued growth of the dentistry specialty now housed in their brand-new factory at 6, Rue des Trois Lacs in Sallanches, France.

In 1943, Anthoine Émile et Fils began manufacturing dental instruments while continuing to take on subcontracting work for micromechanical parts

1Copy of a letter from the Anthoine establishments sent to the Minister of Industrial Production, dated February 26, 1946, reproduced in Arnaud Desgranges’s memoir, The Anthoine establishments: A bar turning company during the Second World War, between crises and prosperity, UPMF, 2010.