Philips

Philips_Shield

Philips, the massive Dutch conglomerate, was a major player in the Australian radio scene for many decades. It still sells consumer electronics here. However, many of the products seem to be badge engineered rubbish, with Philips itself concentrating on the medical and lighting markets.

The company began life in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. It’s founders were Frederik Philips, and wealthy banker, and his son, Gerard. Their initial product was making consumer affordable light bulbs for the newly established electricity system.

The company was near to bankrupt in 1895 when the young Anton Philips, a qualified engineer joined the company. His engineering expertise was soon at the forefront of the companies development.

They continued to produce their light bulbs until the early 1920’s when they saw the opportunity in the market to expand into tube/valves for radio’s and test equipment.

This expanded into full scale production of radio’s.

The company also started a broadcasting service to the Dutch East Indies in 1927 on the shortwave band. This was expanded to two stations before being nationalised in 1947.

Prior to 1930 Philips radio sets had be fully imported to Australia. However, the increase in import tariffs forced Philips, and most other manufacturers, into local production. From 1931 the manufacture of radios was undertaken in Sydney.

Philips_930

Prior to 1930 Philips radio sets had be fully imported to Australia. However, the increase in import tariffs forced Philips, and most other manufacturers, into local production. From 1931 the manufacture of radios was undertaken in Sydney.

Production was soon halted, and didn’t recommence until 1934.

Philips’s extensive European know how, meant they were soon supplying valves to other manufacturer’s, as well as dominating the market in radio receivers of many styles.

Post Second World War, they resumed full production, and acquired the Briton, Fleetwood, and Mullard companies. There were many variations to cabinets featuring these brands that were essentially Philips chassis. However, as with many brand names, they slowly disappeared.

Nevertheless, the acquisition of Kriesler was something a little different. While Philips bought out Kriesler, it remained an independent subsidiary until the tariff increases of 1973. The final Kriesler valve radio was the 11-99, a radio that lasted from 1965 – 1975, long after the Japanese transistor radio had dominated the market.

In 1956 Philips expanded to include Television, and in the early 1970s production swung to colour televisions.

Philips somehow remained one of the two colour television manufacturers into the 1980s, the other being National Panasonic who apparently had a picture tube facility in central NSW until the late 1990s.