Olde Thompson was originally started in 1944 as The George S. Thompson Company. Mr. Thompson retired from military duty in Europe, where pepper mills were routinely used. He then founded his company to "introduce" pepper mills to the American market. In the mid 1960's the company was acquired by Douglas Shumway. Olde Thompson is now the largest manufacturer of salt and pepper mills in the world. Every 18 seconds of every day (24 hours a day, 365 days per year), someone buys an Olde Thompson pepper mill.
In the 1980's, Olde Thompson actively began exporting products through foreign distributorships. Olde Thompson pepper mills are now sold in over 30 countries worldwide from France to Japan, to Chile and Israel.