The beginning of the Osram story in Italy dates back to 1897 when a company called "società Edison per la fabbricazione delle lampade Ing. Clerici & C." was established in Milan. Clerici himself was a capable engineer who boasted a personal friendship with the American inventor, Thomas Edison. Clerici cleverly exploited Edison's electric light patent adapting the new vacuum technology that had then recently become available to enclose the metal filament in a special bulb, the invention of an Italian, Arturo Malignani. In 1919 "Edison Clerici" was taken over by the United States corporation "General Electrics" which also bought out two other Italian concerns, "Itala" and "Zeta". At the time "Edison Clerici" was without Italy's leading electric bulb manufacturer. While all this business reshuffling was going on in Italy, in the same year in Berlin the merger of AEG, Siemens, and Auer was giving birth to a new corporation called "Osram". The name was taken directly from the 1906 patent and was derived from the first two letters of "osmium" and the last three of "wolfram", that is "tungsten", the two metals making up the filament inside the electric light bulb. By 1920 Osram had already opened its Italian subsidiary and in 1930 "Edison Clerici" became part of the Osram group, so that a new company was set up in Milan called "Osram Edison Clerici". Osram Germany's 1919 trade-mark featured black lettering with serifs, while the Italian one sported blue block lettering in varying attitudes over time. The famous trade-mark portraying an electric light bulb turned upside down appeared in the early twenties. Initially, a peculiar feature was a small pointed pimple on the bulb apex, a characteristic ascribable to the fact that at the time the air was sucked out from the bottom so that the bulb was then sealed on that side. It was only later that the air was taken out from the top at which point the cusp was deleted. With time the filament became more essential as also the oval frame. Since the early eighties the trade-mark has comprised only the brand name in orange block lettering. A restyling operation in 2000 left the lettering untouched but did up the oval and brought back in the light bulb, but this time turned upright.