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Bourns Electronic Components

Bourns in the USA ... and beyond

The Bourns story began in 1947, when Marlan and Rosemary Bourns started selling electronic components from their garage in Altadena, California. Their first product was the miniature linear motion and vane position potentiometer, which helped airline pilots solve the perennial problem of ascertaining their pitch attitude.

The aerospace industry was the first and earliest customers for Bourns potentiometers, but the company has developed to such a degree that Bourns is now a leading manufacturer and distributor of a huge range of different components for industrial and audio applications. The Bourns College of Engineering, part of the University of California, is named in honour of Marlan and Rosemary Bourns.

Innovation was key to the success of Bourns. As early as 1952 the company developed the "Trimpot", the world's first trimming potentiometer. Trimpots have become widely used in audio equipment, television receivers and by electric guitarists, because they are a way of calibrating devices or instruments. Bourns trimming pots are 'set and forget' components which unlike regular potentiometers do not require readjusting once soldered or mounted to circuits.

Other popular Bourns components include sliding, precision and cermet potentiometers, resettable fuses, automotive sensors, circuit protection solutions, magnetic products and inductors, microelectronic modules, panel controls, power resistors, panel controls and optical encoders.

The extensive range of Bourns potentiometers available from Rapid include 1/4 in, 3/8 in and miniature single turn cermet pots, standard radial lead inductors, 8 DIL resistor networks and multiturn cermet trimming potentiometers, 3mm and 4mm SMD trimmers, as well as trimming tools for manually adjusting single and multiturn trimming pots.

  • Potentiometers (140)
  • Resistors (10)
Fuses & Circuit Breakers
  • Resettable Fuses (12)