Sony Corporation, Tokyo
The Japanese home electronics company was founded in Tokyo in 1946 and developed into one of the most important manufacturers of radio and television sets, digital and video cameras and was a pioneer in technological miniaturisation.
On 7 May 1946, the company was founded in Tokyo, which was still scarred by war, as Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). It is repeatedly reported that one of the first products developed was an electric rice cooker, later an electric heating pad was added. At the end of 1946, the company developed wireless transmission equipment for the Japanese broadcaster NHK from military surplus. By 1949, the company had successfully developed magnetic tape and a corresponding tape recorder, the G-type.
The company called Totsuko initially named its audio tape Soni-Tape, this product name became so successful that the company was renamed Sony in 1958. With the miniaturisation of the first tape recorder, which became the H-Type, Sony already took a first step in the direction in which the company later caused a sensation, miniaturisation. With the TR-55 transistor radio, Sony developed the first small transistor radio in 1955.
With the emergence of colour television, Sony engineers worked on colour image tubes, the development of the Sony trinitron tube took some years until 1967, it resulted in an excellent picture quality. From 1969, acvideo recorder system was introduced, Sonys proprietary U-Matic. The video tape recorders were widely used in the professional sector; in the home sector, VHS from JVC kept the pole position.
In 1979, Sony caused a sensation with the portable miniature cassette player Walkman, and at the same time, together with Philips, the Compact Disc was launched in 1983. The recordable magneto-optical Minidisc was only a moderate success in Europe and was superseded by mp3 players shortly after.
Sony never targeted the commercial communications receiver market, nor the amateur radio market. The travel radioICF-5900W with its combination of a linear interpolation dial and a crystal calibrator was a first step, until 1978 the legendary ICF-6800W was launched. This receiver, equipped with a digital display, soon became the dream receiver of many shortwave enthousiasts. A milestone was the ICF-2001, the first microprocessor-controlled shortwave receiver. The breakthrough in performance of a portable set was the ICF-2001D.
Sony then get a reputation with masterpieces of miniaturisation, the ICF-7600D was the first truly SSB-capable travel set with digital frequency display & electronic memories. It was followed by extremely miniaturised travel radios, barely larger than a tape cassette, with sophisticated alphanumerically labelled memories & world time clock functions, designed to further simplify shortwave listening.