The economic boom in Japan in the 20th century gave birth to several world famous companies. One of such well-known brands is Toshiba, which, in fact, is already the largest conglomerate uniting dozens of enterprises. The history of the company begins not even in the last century, but in the XIX. Then the enterprise was called Tanaka Engineering Works.
I must say, the founder was a real technical genius. But the fame was brought to him by perfect mechanical dolls.
In 1890, another Japanese, Ichisuke Fujioko, created the Hakunetsu-Sha company, which was engaged in electricity. After 9 years, special incandescent lamps were created, which had no analogues in the country. A little later, the company took the loud name Tokyo Electric Company. And the Toshiba company itself appeared as a result of the merger of the two above-mentioned companies.
True, this happened only in 1939. By that time, the companies had managed to achieve a number of important successes. For example, at the beginning of the 20th century, no one created refrigerators in the country. Then Tanaka Engineering Works volunteered to solve this unpleasant problem for the Japanese. At that time, it was already called Shibaura Engineering Works. Work on the creation of the first Japanese refrigerator began in 1929, and in 1930 the first national electric product of this kind appeared. The most interesting thing is that outwardly this device was very much like an analogue from the American General Electric. And this should not be surprising. Indeed, in many industries, Japanese beginnings start with copying, and their own original production begins later. So it was this time.
But the new product also found room for technical improvements. Japanese engineers did their best to keep their refrigerator as quiet as possible for that time. But for the sake of this, we had to seriously redesign the design of the model. But for the Shibaura Engineering Works model, this was almost the only advantage. After all, the result was inferior to American counterparts in almost all respects. But it was the norm for Japanese industry to start small.
The first pancake really came out lumpy. But after a few years, the zealous Japanese presented their new refrigerator model. This time it was about completely independent development, there was no copying. True, in Japan itself it was difficult to count on a good market. Indeed, at that time refrigerators were a real luxury that only the richest could afford.
A couple of years later, Shibaura Engineering Works presented another new refrigerator, this time it could already be called revolutionary. This device had a rather unusual design. The lower part houses the evaporator and compressor, which was new. Thanks to the accumulated experience, the company is becoming an important player in the Japanese refrigerator market. Before merging with the "Tokyo electricians", the company managed to launch the production of vacuum cleaners and washing machines.
The same historical merger happened in 1939. The new company was officially named Tokyo Shibaura Electric Company. But it became popularly known as Toshiba. Officially, the company received such a name only in 1978. The word Toshiba was obtained by adding the first parts of the names of the companies-creators.
Even before the outbreak of World War II, the company was able to expand significantly through a series of acquisitions. The combined company quickly developed several very useful developments for the country. Among them are X-ray tubes, radio tubes, radio receivers, radars, fluorescent lamps, cathode ray tubes. You can see that even then the range of products manufactured by Toshiba was quite wide. So it is not surprising that the company today already covers almost all the most significant areas of electronics and household appliances.
Toshiba endured World War II quite calmly. Of course, there was no question of prosperity, and Japan was on the losing side. The standard of living in the country has sharply deteriorated, and problems poured on business from all sides. People simply had no money to purchase expensive goods. And many enterprises were either deserted or destroyed. So it was about surviving and resuming production. I must say that Toshiba did it.
The military order also helped in many ways, which made it possible to survive, producing goods for ordinary people. There was a particular demand for quality radars and radio transmitters made by Toshiba. After the end of the war, these devices were needed by the Americans who occupied the country. And household appliances, along with electrical equipment, remained in demand. The company tried to satisfy even the minimum demand in the country.
The 1950s were an important period for Toshiba. In this decade, the company created the country's first television transmitter and television receiver on transistors, microwave ovens. So that time became constructive for the company. In the 70s, the company grew so much that it became a diversified business that was involved in a wide variety of industries. It was home appliances and electronics, and soon Toshiba entered the information technology market. The company not only began to produce individual chips, but also began to present final solutions, both in the form of ready-made complexes and software.
And in 1978 the company officially changed its name to Toshiba, already known to the whole world. At this point, there was one important change in her work that is worth noting. Toshiba is starting to focus on new technologies. Computer solutions are constantly being created in the depths of the company. The Japanese are working on memory modules, personal computers, software products. It was Toshiba in 1985 that created the world's first IBM-compatible laptop.
This laptop is usually called the first in history. Of course, laptop computers have been around before. IBM itself and the modest company Osborne were involved in this. But such devices did not resemble laptops in the usual sense. Their dimensions were the same as a modern system unit, with a small screen and a keyboard. Toshiba has created such a device, which became the firstborn in the now popular class of computers.
Today the company is one of the world's largest laptop manufacturers. But this is far from its only direction. For example, the Japanese are actively developing new technologies, such as robots. Toshiba has already created several smart home machines. For example, the ApriPoco device should replace all home remotes. At the same time, the robot has its own memory in which it remembers the actions of a person. Then it remains only to carry out his commands for working with equipment.
Another robot model, ApriAlpha, is designed for a much wider range of tasks. The robot is able to read the letters that came to the email address, gives information about the weather, talks about the news in the world. In addition, the device has a number of entertainment features. But in general, robotics from Toshiba is still noticeably inferior to such other Japanese giants as Sony, Toyota, Honda.
In the present, Toshiba, as already mentioned, is a real conglomerate, keiretsu. The company consists of a dozen independent enterprises, which are engaged in each in its own direction. And although the full independence of the "daughters" is declared, a single management manages everything.
Today, Toshiba products are used by completely different people around the world. Some people choose washing machines from this brand, while others prefer Japanese laptops. While the brand spans many areas, it manages to stay strong and not blur. This achievement of the Japanese must be respected. And the financial position of the company is very stable. The Japanese giant has a turnover of about $ 66 billion and employs more than two hundred thousand employees for Toshiba.