A visit to the Philips Museum in Eindhoven, Netherlands
Earlier this week, we flew to The Netherlands to attend the Philips Innovation Experience 2014 in Eindhoven, Netherlands along with close to 90 global media.
Eindhoven is the hometown of Philips when it started over 100 years ago. May people even considered that the town was built by Philips when it opened the first light bulb factory here (the museum is now where the original factory was).
A section of the museum was preserved the way it looked like back in 1891 with all the materials used to make the incandescent bulb, complete with the cotton filaments and all. It was the very first industry that the Philips brothers of Netherlands invested into. They picked Eindhoven because there was a working steam engine already operating in the town that allows them to pull electricity from.
Philips would import raw cotton from the United States and import glass bulbs from Germany and assemble them here, employing young women to do the tasks since they have mcuh smaller hands to handle and string the filaments.
Soon after, they transitioned to metal filaments after hearing the Americans had developed a better solution. One of the brothers, Anton Philips, went to America to order these new type of filaments.
The resulting incandescent bulbs were brighter and lasts longer. Photo shown below is one of the first light bulbs with metal filaments.
Philips also ventured into vacuum tube radios. These later evolved into cassette players, cassette tapes, CD players and video players and recorders.
They also developed the video cassette recorder but some Japanese brands (i.e. Sony, etc.) to gain momentum with the VHS and the Betamax.
Philips also created TV sets but these were later on sold to another company and still allowed them to use the name for branding (a Chinese company called TVP).
Here is an early version of a Philips video camera recorder.
Here’s a much older camera that uses light bulbs for its flash:
The company also venture in medical equipment and healthcare industry. One of their first few products was a portable X-Ray machine shown below.
Philips also does home appliances and this is one of the first vacuum cleaners they attempted to sell in China and was a hit.
Philips was so know with their lighting technology that Michael Jackson asked them to make him a custom-made glove that lights up with the beat of his song. Michael was supposed to use this in his world tour but never got to use it due to his unexpected demise. The glove is now here at the Philips museum.
Never realized the Philips family created a huge brand in so many industries. The city of Eindhoven was basically built by Philips wth villages, factories, schools and even a stadium that still exists and operates until today.