The Power of Philips!
It's hard to relate the recent history of Eindhoven without mentioning Philips, the multinational technology company that was founded in the city. Whether it's the Philips Stadium, home of PSV Eindhoven, the Frits Philips Concert Hall, or several buildings in the city centre, the name Philips is all over the city. We'll give you a brief history below, and after its opening in 2012 we recommend you to visit the brand new Philips Museum in the former Philips Lightbulb Factory to get the full story!
The History of Philips
In 1891, Gerard Philips founded the Philips company in Eindhoven. The very first factory (now being turned into the Philips Museum) specialised in making lightbulbs and other electro-technical equipment until the 1920s, when the company expanded into vacuum tube manufacturing.
In 1927, the company began broadcasting over the radio to the Dutch East Indies. The station, originally called PCJ, became Radio Netherlands, which still airs to this day.
Until 1940, the company was run entirely out of Eindhoven. However, that year the company's directors fled to the United States upon news of the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands, taking a large part of the company with them. The original production facility was bombed by the Allies during the liberation of the Netherlands, but the company continued to operate out of the U.S. throughout the war.
Following the end of the war, the company returned to Eindhoven, and the rest, as they say, is history. With inventions such as the cassette tape and the company's entrance into the music business with Philips Records, it became a global force in the electronics world, and continues to be so today.
In 1997, the company moved its global headquarters to Amsterdam. However, Philips Lighting, Philips Research, Philips Semiconductors and Philips Design continue to be based in Eindhoven.