VEF 1919

Rīga, Rīga District, Latvia

Established in 1919 as 'Pasta un telegrāfa virsvaldes galvenā darbnīca' (PTVGD in Latvian, PTDGD in Russian) as a state-owned company; began manufacturing telegraph and telecommunications equipment in Riga in 1919, then crystal radio sets from 1924; specialised in automatic telephone exchanges, but also repaired other electrical and mechanical equipment and produced fighter aircraft; became VEF (Latvian acronym for 'Valsts Elektrotehniskā Fabrika) in 1932; in 1936 began production of its most product, the Minox miniature camera; the VEF factory was destroyed during the second world war, but was rebuilt under the Societ occupation, specialising in electronics production; in 1999 the VEF organisation was split up into six private companies; VEF & Co. continues today (2010) as a manufacturer of telephones.