Philips Electronics 1891

Eindhoven, North Brabant, Netherlands

Frederik Philips and his son, Gerard Philips, founded the company in Eindhoven, Netherlands in 1891. The company originally manufactured light bulbs and electronic components before also manufacturing vacuum tubes/valves in the 1920s, and the pioneering electric razors from 1939. In 1927, Philips acquired the German firm, Valvo, and in 1932 also acquired the UK firm Mullard. During the 1900s, Philips became the largest private employer in the Netherlands. The company operated as North American Philips Company in the US during the Second World War.

Following the Second World War, Philips focused on aiding post war recovery through its innovations. However, perhaps the most significant of their developments during this period was the mass-market television. In 1950, they formed the subsidiary, Philips Records, through which they introduced the audio compact cassette in 1963, and the world's first video cassette recorder (VCR) in 1971. In the 1980s, Philips also released the Compact Disc (CD) in combination with Sony.

In 1991, the company name was changed to Philips Electronics N.V which was drawn from N.V. Philips Gloeilampenfabrieken, and in 1997 was changed again to Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.