(a company/organization/group) was established (at some time)

To "establish" something means to create or start it. The word "establish" is formal word that's appropriate for writing and for formal speeches. In casual conversation, you would say:

It was started in 1983.

In both cases, you use "was ___ed". You use this structure when you don't want to say who did something. In this example, you don't want to say who established the company because that's not important information for your report. If you did want to say who started the company, you would write:

James and Frank Calloway established the company in 1983.

This phrase appears in these lessons: