Philips, radio that made famous in Holland
Philips marked the last year 120 years
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Article by www.rnw.n.l

Philips served last year 120 years. The company began operations in 1891, in Eindhoven, in the South of Holland, as a small factory of bulbs, shortly after the beginning of the industrial revolution in Europe. In 1932 it became a world leader in the production of radios. In many countries, the Philips radios made famous in Holland.

And here in the Netherlands, was through the devices of the company who became the first overseas radio transmissions, in 1927. Light bulbs and radios have a long history.

At the beginning, was the light
At the beginning, the own light was an innovation, says Eric Drent, Manager of communication of Philips in the Netherlands. "Having light 120 years ago was something revolutionary. These lights had much more light than oil lamps, and were also much more secure."

With the passage of time, created by the brothers Gerard and Anton Philips bulbs factory became the largest employer in the Netherlands. In 1910, he had 2,000 employees.

Bulbs for lighting were the starting point for producing bulbs for radios and x-ray machines. The company installed a laboratory in 1914, where he created inventions and innovations were sought. "After the first world war, Philips began to produce bulbs for x-ray machines, because the Germans already not could give them more," says Eric Drent.

And what have to do these bulbs with radios? "There are also bulbs on the radios," explains Drent, although they are slightly different to those used in the lighting. "Why was the company interested in making radios. We were already good in making light bulbs", tells us.

1927, the first radios and the first overseas transmission
The first transmissions began in the early 20s, first with long waves, which was not very successful, and then with short waves. The first model of the enterprise radio was very different to those we know today. One notable difference was that I had the speakers separate the radio box.

Inside, these radios contained a very advanced invention for the time, prepared in the laboratory of Philips: Pentode tube. According to Ernst Erb, an expert in radios and founder of the web site, Pentode is the most important type of radio tubes. He considers that, despite the fact that the company entering the market of radios was late, in 1922, and that there was already a broadcasting industry in Europe, "Philips, from the outset, he gained leadership in the technique of production of radios".

In 1927 was the first transmission from the Netherlands to Indonesia, a Dutch colony at the time, through the equipment produced by the company. The Queen made his first speech addressed to citizens of the colony. "That meant a breakthrough for radio in the Netherlands", assesses Eric Drent, Philips Communications Manager.

The Philips Omroep Holland-Indie radio, better known as PHOHI, Philips Netherlands East Indies station was founded in that year. Station aimed at keeping informed the Dutch living in Indonesia regarding what was happening in the Netherlands, but it was also used as station international, if it was necessary.

A million radios and one hundred million valves
In 1932, five years after the first radio, the company reached one million sales, becoming world leader in production. It should be emphasized that at that time the rays were not cheap. They could cost as much as a year's salary in the Netherlands. Many of these pieces can be seen in the Museum of Philips in Eindhoven.

In 1933, Philips manufactured the valve for number 100 million radio and began to produce x-ray for the United States. The company diversified its activities again, and expanded its offices to other continents.

In 1935, Philips became Argentina. In 1939, he began to manufacture electric shavers.

1939: the war and its effects
Also in that year he began in Europe the second world war. The Netherlands was invaded by German troops in 1940. As part of the occupation, it was forbidden to have radios at home. All radios were confiscated. However, those who knew to build with the available material did, but I had to hide them very well. There was a risk of death penalty if an officer discovered him.

During the war, the headquarters of the worldwide Philips management moved to the United States. The factory in Eindhoven continued to operate. In 1942 she was bombed by the allied air forces, without casualties. It was difficult to keep up with offices around the world. In Argentina, for example, the company followed its own path part of the parent company.

Post war period
After the war, the creation of the transistor in 1947, resulted in major changes: "the use of transistors instead of tubes, made smaller radios, lighter and much cheaper." In addition, it provided better handling and expanded the ways of using them,"says Ernst Erb.

The expert described the radios produced in that period as "technically similar to the others, but often also very optimized" for a fast and efficient manufacturing process.

In that same period, another very important product in history unfolded: television. Philips is involved in that process. "The first big obstacle for radios was television, after the war. It became the focus of attention", says Erb.

The company, at that time was already a large multinational, and continued to grow with products other than light bulbs and radios. In addition to television, the K7 tape, CD, DVD, and now has a whole new line of health products.

Social functions of the radio
With all those technological and economic changes, would the social role of the radio it would have changed also? Eric Drent and Ernst Erb think Yes. "Radio is very important to inform people and tell them what is wrong in the world, in your country.'" Drent, Philips communications manager tells us that they "believe that the information can change the world."

For his part, Ernst Erb adds his concern with the process of digitalisation of emissions and the end of analog broadcasts. "We should be very careful and not completely disable AM and FM. There are some reasons. Probably the most important is that these analogue radios can be built easily and, in case of emergency, are not easily overturned. And young people can learn a lot if we involve them in the process of building."

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JAY - 2017-01-20