Two recommended sites about the Thorens history are already on the net:
As an additional information you can have a look at Thorens own presentation from their 1982 catalog, Thorens - The European Alternative.
Further, there have been a close relationship between Thorens and SME, and the UK-firm have supplied Thorens with tonearm over a long period of time. It feels naturally that SME tonearms is included in the list relative to Thorens tonearms.
THORENS - The European Alternative
Founded in 1883. THORENS is known as one of the oldest and most experienced manufacturers of sound reproduction equipment in Europe. From the beginning, THORENS has concentrated his efforts in the design and manufacture of quality products. Thousands of satisfied THORENS customers daily appreciate the excellence and the reliability of their THORENS products. The secret of this reputation lies in the consistent use of high grade materials, the considerable experience of the THORENS engineers and the continuous improvement of well-tried designs.
Trends and fads that bring no improvement to the durability of the equipment, or to the quality of musical reproduction, have been deliberately disregarded, and proven design features are never modified unless a significant improvement can be expected.
Every THORENS product has been developed with one purpose in mind: to reproduce the musical message the way it was recorded. That requires the elimination of such disturbances as hum and rumble and wow and flutter.
In this respect, THORENS engineers should like to point out the problem of comparing specifications. Potential consumers who gather their information only from the specifications contained in the manufacturers' brochures can be completely mislead- In fact, several different standards are being used and too often very little is specified regarding the method of measurement. For instance, you may get differences of up to 10 dB in the rumble specification according to DIN, following the use of different cartridges, test records or test benches.
A careful perusal of the various product tests and of the accompanying technical articles published in serious Hi-Fi magazines as well as a thorough discussion with your Hi-Fi dealer will soon identify the manufacturers whose specifications can be accurately interpreted.
As you may expect, THORENS has always given specifications which are factual, reliable, and which can be fully confirmed by independent laboratories throughout the world.
THORENS - a name with tradition and future!