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Bang & Olufsen Museum radio

Bang & Olufsen Museum radio

Bang & Olufsen Museum radio


Bang & Olufsen Museum: radio, radio gramophone, radio tape recorder, tape recorder, cassette player, iron.


One of Struer's attractions is the Struer Museum. Since the life of this town is closely connected with Bang & Olufsen, most of the museum's area is occupied by ... Bang & Olufsen technology. A retrospective of the company's life from the first plug adapter to the latest smart technologies of the 2000s is located on two floors.

In the mid-1920s, a radio boom began. Receivers were massively imported to Europe from America, so Peter Bang, who came from there, who managed to work a little at a radio factory in the USA, decided to put together something of his own with his friend Svend Olufsen. A whole radio receiver for those years was not so easy to make, so the engineers limited themselves to The Eliminator power adapter.

In those days, the radio was connected through batteries, storing energy, and Bang developed a system that allowed the radio to be turned on directly to the AC network. It cannot be said that it was a revolution, but the device received its fame, and the friends seriously thought about a full-fledged business. November 17, 1925 is considered the official launch of Bang & Olufsen.

Both families - the Olufsen and the Bangi - were quite wealthy, so the laboratory first arose in the old Olufsen family mansion. When Olufsen's mother realized that she was already tired of feeding the people who came to their homes (company employees) and kicked everyone out, the partners borrowed money from their fathers and built a factory, which the company now calls Factory 1. It was destroyed during World War II. According to Iza Mikkelsen, a product consultant for Bang & Olufsen, the plant had an immediate impact on the local economy as many of its neighbors became its employees.

Bang & Olufsen Museum radio



Bang was the chief engineer of the company and immersed himself in the development of new products, while Olufsen took over the finance department. Two years later, in 1927, they opened a new factory and released their first full-fledged product, the 3lamper radio, and in 1929, the 5lamper, with three and five lamps, respectively.

At the same time, the company began to produce radio gramophones, but you will not read much about them in the official history. As Mikkelsen explained, they were one-of-a-kind models and quite expensive. For example, the Radiogrammofon 5 LV RG released in 1929 included the same 5lamper radio, and a vinyl player on top, and cost 1150 crowns.

Then came the times of sound films. Bang & Olufsen systems were installed in the first Danish sound cinema, and the company began to specialize in professional equipment, and in fact - in commercial cinema installations, and not only audio, but also projectors - their setup, maintenance, etc.

The firm never stopped making consumer products, however, and in 1934 released the B&O Hyberbo 5 radio gramophone. I confess I was very impressed with this thing. History says that Peter Bang was so impressed with the appearance of the Wassily Chair by designer and architect Marcel Breuer that he decided to do something similar in the Bauhaus style. The company itself says that this is where the Bang & Olufsen corporate identity originates. Just look at the photo below! This hybrid looks modern even today.

The company itself and all of its employees have this model only in a single copy, and it is in the museum. In total, about 150 units were sold, the product turned out to be a commercial failure! This is what it means to be ahead of your time. Therefore, the company returned to the Bauhaus only in the 60s, when this trend became more noticeable throughout the world.

In 1938, the company released its first push-button radio, the Master 39 K. It was an original invention by Bang & Olufsen and later adopted by other manufacturers. Buttons, of course, were needed to memorize stations. One button, one station. It was a very, very popular product. To the consumer, all this seemed like magic: he pressed the button and listen.

A year later, the company released something revolutionary at that time - the Beolit ​​39 receivers. Bang began developing them back in 1937, deciding that he needed to try something other than a regular wooden box. And he made a body out of bakelite . The product turned out to be compact, original in form and therefore immediately became very popular, especially among the younger generation. The company produced the model in various modifications until 1964. I would like to note that the trend of naming models with the word “Beo” also originated from there.

In 1940, the company began to expand, and although World War II came to Denmark, the factory continued to operate. In 1941, it even released the Grand Prix 41 radio (receiver with built-in acoustics) with a tuning scale, the backlight of which was turned off when not in use, and in the 43rd, the Grand Prix 44 CH radio gramophone (receiver, vinyl record player and acoustics).

However, the war is merciless: the plant was completely destroyed. Immediately after its completion, Bang and Olufsen took up the restoration of the plant, and this turned out to be even a certain benefit - they had to equip it with all the modern equipment at that time.

In 1946, Bang & Olufsen returned with the Beocord 84 U, a wire recorder ( predecessors of tape recorders ), which, by the way, was very expensive - 1,700 kronor.

Bang & Olufsen released its first TV in 1951. The TV 508 S did not contain anything unusual, except that there was no television in Europe. The company had to wait another year until the TV channel in Hamburg was launched, and then there were buyers. Inside there was a 12-inch picture tube, and, as today, the company focused on high-quality sound. As you know, a picture without good sound is a waste of money, and therefore three speakers and an FM receiver (then only FM stations appeared)

In the late 50s, the company decides to invite external designers to develop its products. The first competition wins and creates the Mini 606 K Moderne radio, which uses a brass front panel and a black frame. Today, if you look at the photo below, you will say that this is a normal receiver, but then this appearance seemed so innovative that the word "Moderne" was used in the name.

On the second floor of the museum, the "new century" of Bang & Olufsen is presented - the time when the company began to actively use aluminum in its products, finally decided to put the Bauhaus direction at the head of the style, which, in my opinion, earned world recognition. These changes are also associated with the beginning of cooperation with the design bureau Jacob Jensen (Jacob Jensen).

Unfortunately, there was very little time for visiting the museum, so I covered the "new time" rather poorly. However, many things, at least the products of the 90s, are still found among our music lovers, and they are not necessarily vintage lovers.

Industrial design in the Bauhaus style was taken up by Japanese companies in the 80s, and Bang & Olufsen believes that everything was copied from their products - both Sony and Apple. In my opinion, maybe they did not copy, but simply thought in the same way - they wanted to get a functional, simple, devoid of decorations, but at the same time a beautiful product.

B&O continues in the same vein, but in connection with the new "economic era", products from the middle class have moved to the top, elite segment, so they are no longer remembered for some bright mass novelties, which means they do not define fashion. However, a visit to this museum once again reminded me that no matter how we treat the company today, it has had a significant impact on the consumer electronics market and has released many hit products.

And so you don’t think the company was concerned about sound all the time, here is a pink iron and electric curlers from Bang & Olufsen.

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