Panasonic Report

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The story of what became the Panasonic Corporation began in Osaka, Japan in 1918; this was when Konosuke Matsushita invented a revolutionary two-socket light bulb (Duplex Light Bulb). With only 3 employees and himself he produced and sold the light bulbs from his home in Osaka. Matsushita’s idea was so highly regarded he had to rent his neighbour’s house to keep up with demand. In 1992 however Matsushita could not handle the demand from his home any longer, so in 1992 he leased a 230m2 site nearby, completing construction of a factory and office in July. By the end of the year, employees numbered more than 50. Whilst doing this Matsushita continued to research new products and in 1923 he invented a new type of bicycle lamp called the “bullet lamp” due to its bullet like shape (seen in the picture to the right.)( This was a breakthrough in bicycle lamps at the time as many cyclists used oil lanterns as a way of illumination. Although there were some battery powered lights available many of them only last 3-4 hours before running out, Matsushita’s “Bullet Lamp” promised to last ten times that.

The 1930’s proved to be a massive decade for Matsushita Electric Manufacturing Devices. 1931 see the invention of a radio, at this time many of the radio’s tuning into Japan’s national broadcasting station were unreliable and Matsushita had experienced this himself vowing to build a radio “that doesn’t break”. In 1930 Matsushita set up Kokudo Electric Co. A joint venture with a radio manufacturer. After a string of unreliable and unsuccessful models Matsushita demanded a radio that met his expectations, and three months post this Kokudo Electric Co. Developed a radio set that immediately won a prize sponsored by the Japanese National broadcasting station (seen left) ( Matsushita sold these for a much higher price than the rest of the highly...
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