The history of Bang & Olufsen began in 1925, when two Danish engineers Peter Bang and Sven Olufsen joined forces in the development of radio equipment. The first fruit of their technical thought was the Eliminator receiver, which was born in the Olafsen family house in the Jutland town of Struer. It is interesting that Jutland, this narrow and long peninsula in the north-west of Denmark, turned out to be a real forge of talent: not far from Struer, another famous Danish company Jamo, founded by engineer Mortensen and businessman Jacobsen, was born. The first success inspired the partners, and they decided to put the production of receivers on a commercial basis. As a result, on November 17, 1925, Bang & Olufsen was born. The Olafsen family’s house was not suitable for large-scale commerce, so two years later the company opened a small factory in Struer. The engineers decided to play it safe: the factory was built in such a way that if the receivers failed, it could be used for other purposes (the insurance turned out to be unnecessary – 70 years later, the main Bang & Olufsen plant is located in the same place). Rumors quickly spread around Struer about the undertaking of two engineers – this is how Bang & Olufsen gained its first fame.
In 1927, the company began producing “3 lamper” tube receivers, and after another 2 years, “5 lamper” receivers appeared on the market. In 1938, Bang & Olufsen released the world’s first receiver with push-button control and fixed settings for several radio stations, the Master-39CH. Its owners could tune in to 16 long and short wave stations simply by switching buttons. It was then that the Beo prefix appeared in the company’s products (it began to appear in the names of receivers made in bakelite housing). This tradition, as well as the policy of special concern for consumer convenience, has been preserved at Bang & Olufsen to this day.
At the same time, the company thoroughly began organizing sales; all stores in which the company’s products were sold received a uniform design. Bang & Olufsen selected its partners and authorized a group of the most professional dealers. The sales concept, laid down back in 1940 and involving the creation of an international authorized dealer network, has remained almost unchanged to the present day. The years of World War II and the occupation of Denmark had almost no impact on the company’s affairs. Bang & Olufsen continued to produce new products, although along with civilian products it still had to start manufacturing walkie-talkies and telephones for the military. When leaving Denmark, the occupiers completely destroyed the factory in Struer, but a month later they began to rebuild it, and less than a year later the production lines were restored. Immediately after the war, Bang & Olufsen launched Europe’s first reel-to-reel tape recorder, the Beocord-84U, which was based on the inventions of the famous Danish engineer Voldemar Paulsen.
Bang & Olufsen Mini 43 (1943)
In 1950, the television page in the history of Bang & Olufsen began: the company presented its first prototype of a television, and then a commercial product – a simple b/w device. At the dawn of the television era, only the lazy were not engaged in the production of television receivers. In Denmark alone, in the mid-50s, televisions were produced by two dozen companies. Now there is only one left – Bang & Olufsen. B&O Play is a division of the Danish company Bang & Olufsen and provides self-contained solutions with a simple and clear focus – portable devices with intuitive controls that are easily integrated into everyday life and provide excellent and high-quality sound.
Bang & Olufsen Master de Luxe 41 (1941)
B&O Play has worked extensively with musicians and studio engineers to understand people’s needs. They noted that people are beginning to listen to music not only at home, but in many different places, but the listening quality is noticeably reduced compared to home speaker systems. B&O Play’s goal is to give you the freedom to enjoy the great sound of your favorite songs anywhere, without compromise. Key milestones in the company’s history: The Bang & Olufsen company was founded on November 18, 1925 in the small town of Struer, located in the northwestern part of Denmark, the founders were two young engineers – Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen. They created a business that was destined to become an international design icon and a global symbol of audiovisual excellence. Production began modestly – in the attic of the family estate, two engineers assembled radios. The first product suitable for commercial use was called Eliminator. This was an internal radio component that eliminated the use of batteries and allowed direct connection to the network.
Bang & Olufsen TV 508S (1951)
In 1927, production moved to the newly built factory in Struer. The building was called “The School” and was designed so that if the production of radios did not prove profitable, the building could be used as a school. Today, Bang & Olufsen’s main production buildings are still located in Struer on the same site. In 1934, the standard for any audio product was a wooden cabinet. Bang & Olufsen already did not follow the majority and released Hyperbo RG Steel – a radio, acoustics and vinyl player in one case with a black chrome-plated steel case. This was the complete opposite of everything that had been released before. In 1939, radio wavelengths were fixed throughout the world. In this regard, Bang & Olufsen released Lyntryk, a radio with a push-button station selection system. For the first time, music, news or sports could be selected at the touch of a button.
Bang & Olufsen Beomaster 900 (1967)
The first product with the Beo prefix appeared in 1939. The Beolit 39 was the first radio in a series whose housings were made of Bakelite (polyoxybenzylmethylene glycol anhydride), the forerunner of modern molded plastic. The material was not only strong and light, but also made it possible to produce cases with rounded shapes. In 1943, the Mini 43 was released, the first Bang & Olufsen product to be called “Mini”. This was the beginning of a successful series of compact radios that were produced until the 60s. In 1950, Bang & Olufsen released their very first television. These were just 10 prototypes made for the Copenhagen Forum, but they marked the beginning of the development of television production in Denmark. This was such a new technology that televisions had to be taken to Sweden and Germany for testing before the exhibition – there were not even television networks in Denmark at that time. In 1952, Bang & Olufsen began mass production of the 508 S TV, which had unsurpassed picture and sound at that time. It was jokingly called a “wheelbarrow” due to the fact that it was equipped with handles and wheels for moving around the room.
Bang & Olufsen Beolab 5000 (1967)
In 1964, Bang & Olufsen released the first thin and elegant radios using new transistor technology. They were sold under the slogan “For those for whom design and quality are more important than price.” BeoMaster 900 achieves immediate popularity and causes a wave of similar models from most manufacturers in Europe and Japan. In 1967, the BeoVox 2500S speaker system began production, designed by Jacob Jensen in the wake of the popularity of pop art in Denmark. These cubic speakers were unique: the shape was chosen based on the fact that high frequencies should be distributed evenly throughout the room (such were the requirements for the project). Due to the fact that there was a speaker on each side, this speaker system could easily fill a room with sound, despite its compact size.
In 1985, Bang & Olufsen released one of the world’s first remote controls capable of simultaneously controlling both audio and video components. Since then, one of the company’s hallmarks has been the ability to provide a single remote control for controlling the entire system, including products. Third party manufacturers. In 1986, Bang & Olufsen releases the first telephone. It had an innovative feature that linked the phone and the TV – when you answered a call using the infrared port, the phone automatically lowered the volume. The model was a great success and was produced until 1992. In 1996, a unique 6-disc CD player with a built-in radio was released. BeoSound 9000 was a great success around the world and remained a landmark product for Banf & Olufsen for many years.
Bang & Olufsen BeoCom (1986)
In June 2013, Bang & Olufsen’s driving force, Peter Skak Olufsen, received the Plus X Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is given to people whose actions have not only brought long-term success to their company, but also made a major contribution to changes in the market and industry.
Today, Bang & Olufsen is a world-famous company, famous for its wide range of original televisions, music systems and headphones. These products combine technological innovation, emotional appeal and sensational design. The company’s products are sold in more than 100 countries.
The most famous Bang & Olufsen store is located in the historical center of Copenhagen, next to the main square of the city. It is simply impossible for tourists to pass by it, and this is not necessary, since once you look inside you will find yourself in a completely different reality thanks to modern technologies. In a special room, everyone can sit on comfortable sofas, put on 3D glasses and go on an underwater journey or, for example, feel like a space tourist. In this paradise for film and music lovers, you can not only test absolutely all the new audio and video products, but also touch the beautiful in the literal sense of the word. All brand products are distinguished by true Scandinavian design with its reverent attitude to the smallest details, since in the pursuit of technical perfection Bang & Olufsen does not forget about external beauty. The shape of Bang & Olufsen products is dictated by feelings, and this is the most correct formulation of successful, high-quality and honest design!