Launched First Products: Attachment Plug and 2-Way Socket
The founder, Konosuke Matsushita, was convinced that there would be a huge demand from ordinary households for convenient, high-quality wiring products. As a result, the company manufactured and marketed its first products, an attachment plug and 2-way socket. Since homes generally had only a single power outlet for one lamp at the time, a product that allowed the use of two lamps, or a lamp and an iron, was popular.
* The photo shows the company’s first products: an attachment plug (left) and, in 1920, a 2-way socket (right).Corporate History | Panasonic
Established First Head Office and Factory
In February 1920, the founder designed a trademark for the company consisting of the letter M overlaid with an arrow and surrounded by a wide diamond. In March, the company established a representative office in Tokyo. In 1922, the company decided to build a new factory and office, which the founder designed himself. Though the economy worsened, the company continued to grow as sales of its products increased. In the four years since the company's inception, it had become a full-fledged business with its own factory.
* The photo shows the factory around 1924.Panasonic Corporate History
Established the Electric Heating Department
The founder, Konosuke Matsushita, established the Electric Heating Department because he wanted to produce high-quality electric devices at prices that the ordinary home could afford. With this in mind, development first started on irons. The "Super Iron," which was launched three months later, used a new structure in which the heater was sandwiched between iron plates. Offering the same level of quality as conventional irons, its price was 30% lower. The engineer who developed the "Super Iron," Tetsujiro Nakao, created a wide variety of new technologies and new products as a leader in Panasonic technology.
Launched the “Prizewinner” R-31 3-Tube Radio
This was Panasonic’s first originally developed radio set. Since the prototype model won first prize in a contest sponsored by a Tokyo Public Broadcasting Station (currently NHK, Japan Broadcasting Corporation), the product was called “Prizewinner” when it went on sale.Corporate History | Panasonic
Purchased the Rights to Radio Patents and Released Them to the Public Domain
At the time, radio manufacturers, including the company, were in a difficult position because the use of multi－pole vacuum tube high－frequency circuits would infringe on the inventor's patents. For this reason, the founder purchased the patents in October of this year. He then released them to the public free of charge so other manufacturers could use them. This greatly helped to advance the radio industry as a whole, bringing widespread praise and appreciation to the company.Corporate History | Panasonic
Launched Panasonic's First Motor
The company succeeded in developing a motor, a product that was dominated by heavy electric machinery manufacturers. The founder, Konosuke Matsushita, predicted that, "Someday, there will definitely be 10 motors used in every home." His prediction came true and after the WWII, motors came into widespread use in home appliances.Innovative Product: 1/2-horsepower, 3-phase induction motor
Research Began on Televisions
Many European and American engineers began research on television technology after Beard of England transmitted moving pictures by cable in 1925 for the first time. In 1935, Kenjiro Takayanagi at Hamamatsu Vocational College built a functioning iconoscope, which was a major step in development of an actual product. Fascinated by these developments, Matsushita immediately dispatched engineers to study under Takayanagi at the end of 1935, when Panasonic's own R&D program was launched at its Tokyo Laboratory. By 1938, the laboratory produced a prototype 12" set.
* The photo shows the staff of Matsushita Radio Mfg., Tokyo Laboratory engaged in TV development.Corporate History | Panasonic
Launched Panasonic’s First Electric Fan
The company launched its first electric fan, an automatic oscillation (12-inch table top model).
Launched Panasonic’s First Home Dryer
Equipped with a brush replacement socket and a three-stage switch. Packaged in a wooden case.
Completed the First Prototype TV Model
In late 1935, Panasonic began researching a television receiver. In 1938, a prototype 12-inch CRT TV was produced. In May 1939, a radio transmission test was successfully achieved. Then, in July of the same year, this TV receiver was shown to the general public for the first time at an electrical inventions exhibition.
* The photo shows a home TV receiver developed in 1935.Panasonic Corporate History
Installed a Super Car Radio in the Japanese Emperor's Car
In response to a request from the royal family, a super car radio was installed in the family car.
Launched Wireless Equipment
Utilizing Panasonic's radio technology, wireless equipment was sold as special products during the WWII.
Launched a High-Power Motor
Achieved a triple-phase, 6-pole, 3 horsepower motor. This was the foundation of Panasonic's motor development.
Established the Central Research Laboratory
The company began strengthening its R&D capabilities and modernizing its production equipment with the creation of the Central Research Laboratory in Osaka in 1953. The laboratory conducted basic research and assisted various divisions in developing new products, while also conducting R&D on equipment and techniques for automated production. It was a comprehensive research facility that combined specialized machine manufacturing with a section for teaching product design research to become a driving force of the new electronic era.
* The photo shows the Central Research Laboratory.Corporate History | Panasonic
Launched the "National Hyper," Japan's First Fully Metal-Jacketed Dry Cell Battery
The founder, Konosuke Matsushita, who wanted to manufacture dry cell batteries and other products that met or exceeded world standards, considered technical tie-ups with foreign manufacturers but was persuaded by company engineers to develop products with the company's own strength, and decided to develop them in-house. The company succeeded in developing and launching the "National Hyper," Japan's first fully metal-jacketed dry cell battery.
Launched the MW-303, a Rectangular Jet-Type Washing Machine
Panasonic’s first washing machine with wringers for water removal, the MW-303, was launched. The addition of this function eliminated the need for laundry to be squeezed by hand.
Launched the W-31, Panasonic’s First Window-Type Cooler
At the time, the air conditioner was called a “Home Cooler” and it was a window-type unit that was installed through the wall so that the ventilation flowed through the back of the unit, which was exposed to the outside.Innovative Product: Home air conditioner
Launched the MC-8 Cylinder-Type Vacuum Cleaner
The MC-8 cylinder-type vacuum cleaner, which became popular due to its unique cylindrical design and excellent maneuverability, was launched. This product helped spark the growth of Panasonic’s vacuum cleaner business.
Launched Electronic Calculators
Panasonic’s first electronic calculator was launched this year. Later, in 1969, the pocket-sized calculator was launched. In 1979, an electronic dictionary was launched for export.
Launched the SR-18 Electric Automatic Rice Cooker
This was the cornerstone of Panasonic rice cookers.
Launched the Industry’s First Color TV
Panasonic released the K21-10, Japan’s first 21-inch color TV, coinciding with Japan’s first color TV broadcast in 1960. A color TV, an air conditioner, and a car were called the “3Cs,” and replaced the three essential status symbols of Japan in the 1950’s, which were a black & white TV, a washing machine, and a refrigerator.
Launched the MR-500, Japan’s First Electric Automatic Dishwasher
The MR-500, the first electric automatic dishwasher with full-fledged rotation injection system in Japan was launched. The product never reached mainstream popularity, primarily due to its large size, as it was designed from the body of a washing machine, and its high cost.
Launched the N-7000, a Fully Automatic Washing Machine
Panasonic launched the N-7000, the company’s first fully automatic washing machine that enabled users to wash, rinse, and spin-dry laundry with one tank and automated the process from pouring in the water to the final spin-drying.
Launched the World’s First Azimuth Recording System VTR
The NV-2320, the world’s first azimuth recording system VTR, was launched. The innovative idea that improved recording density was deployed with VHS, βmax and DVC.
Held the 1st Panasonic's Technological Exhibition
With the 50th anniversary of our foundation and the worldwide results of products launched one after another, Panasonic was motivated to develop new technologies and new products that applied its principles further and to develop things that would be useful for actual living. For that reason, Panasonic decided to publicly disclose its technology to the general public, ask for frank evaluation and requests, and in April of 1969 established the “Hall of Science and Technology Museum” in the western building of the Central Research Laboratories in Osaka. In the following September, the “1st Panasonic Technological Exhibition” was held in Tokyo for 5 days. At the venue, experts and authorities from various fields like academia, government agencies, corporate research institutions, media, etc., came to see development results ranging from parts and materials to systems and equipment in 56 booths on exhibit. Visitors exceeded 15,000 attendees. This technological exhibition popularized things like a facsimile machine for home use, and a wall-mounted TV called an “EL image display device” said to be the future of television. The event was held several times afterwards and raised the fame of Panasonic Technology.
Launched Panasert Automated Resistor Mounting Machine
Launched the "National Neo Hi-Top," the World's Longest Lasting Dry Cell Battery
Immediately after launching the "National Hyper" dry cell battery in 1954, the development team started developing a new dry cell battery with 1.5 times the capacity. After spending 5 years on this development, the "National Neo Hi-Top" dry cell battery, which featured the world's longest battery lifetime, was launched.
Launched the "Toot-a-Loop" R-70 and R-72 Radio Series
This fashionable design gained popularity because it looked like an art object. The R-70, lauched in this year was ball shaped, and the R-72, launched in 1972, had a ring shape for attaching to the arm. When the main unit was twisted, the tuner section would appear in this distinctive design.
Launched the "Technics" SP-10, the World’s First Direct Drive Turntable
Using direct drive motors, Panasonic commercialized the world’s first durable turntable with high rotational accuracy and minimal noise and mechanical vibration. The model received a variety of prestigious awards.Innovative Product: Direct-drive turntable
Launched the TH-5P1, the World’s Smallest 5-inch Portable Color TV
Starting with the CRT, all of the parts were miniaturized to achieve the TH-5P1, the world’s smallest 5-inch portable color TV. A three-battery system that supported the AC, dedicated battery and car battery was adopted to enable users to enjoy it inside their cars and outdoors.
Launched the World’s First Infrared Remote Controlled Color TV
In the midst of problems related to TV reliability, including parliamentary deliberation of operating errors by remote control units, the TH-6600FR was the world’s first to provide stable operation by infrared remote control. This system became the cornerstone for virtually all remote controlled electronic devices in use today.
Established Matsushita Technical Center Singapore
Panasonic established the Matsushita Technical Center Singapore to transfer production technology from Japan to Singapore, in response to a request from the Singapore government.
Established Semiconductor Research Center
As a measure to strengthen the research and development of semiconductors, the Semiconductor Research Center was established under the umbrella of the Technology Headquarters. Then, in June 1985, the Semiconductor Research Center became independent of the Technology Headquarters, and a new R&D wing was completed.
Developed a Totally Integrated Pick-up Glass Lens
Achieved integrated molding for an ultra-precise aspherical glass lens.
Established the Matsushita Air-Conditioning R&D Center
In 1991, the Matsushita Air-Conditioning R&D Center Malaysia was established to conduct R&D (Research & Development) on air conditioners. This was followed in 1997 by setting up the Matsushita Compressor & Motor R&D Center to develop compressors and products that catered to the local climate and lifestyles. This marked an excellent achievement by the company.
Announced a Comprehensive Agreement with Toshiba and SanDisk for the Development and Standardization of the SD Card
The company signed an agreement with Toshiba and SanDisk for comprehensive, mutual cooperation in the joint development, standardization, and spread of the copyright protected SD Memory Card, a compact memory card. It was announced that they aimed to start mass production from 2000 with capacities of 32 and 64 MB.
* SD Memory Cards and their application products were promoted at the 2000 CES.
Established the SD Association
The SD Association was established by Panasonic, SanDisk, and Toshiba as a non-profit organization for the purpose of establishing and promoting the standard for memory card storage. Today, approximately 1,000 member companies have designed and developed SD standards at the SD Association.
Established Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory
Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory was established in Hollywood, home to world-class movie creators in April.HOLLYWOOD TO YOUR HOME
Launched the NR-C32EP, Japan’s First CFC-Free Refrigerator
The NR-C32EP, Japan’s first eco-friendly refrigerator that didn’t use CFC was launched. It also won Japan’s Good Design Award for this year.
Established the Blu-ray Disc (BD) Standard
Nine companies including Panasonic announced the founding of the Blu-ray Disc standard, a video recording standard. Multi-layering each individual disc enabled a significant increase in its storage capacity. In addition to major features, such as HD image compatibility, the high-level specification compatibility enabled use in data storage and a wide range of applications.
Launched the "VIERA," Panasonic’s First Flat Screen TV
Panasonic released "VIERA," the new-brand flat screen TV. Compatible with terrestrial digital TV broadcasts, the new TV offered a wide variety of advanced functions, such as the newly developed PEAKS (picture enhancement accelerator with kinetic system) engine and TV program guide. The screen device used either plasma or LCD, depending on the size. "VIERA" opened the curtain for the age of the flat screen TV.
Launched the "VIERA," the World’s First Full-HD 3D Compatible TV
This product was the world’s first model to offer compatibility with 3D Full-HD images by putting on a pair of special 3D glasses. In addition to the dynamic images that appeared to jump off the screen, adding a significant sense of depth enabled viewers to immerse into the scenes as if they were there in real life. This model received a large amount of buzz thanks to 3D trend in the film industry.
Launched the PGS (Pyrolytic Graphite Sheet)
Heat dissipation is a major issue when developing electronic devices made up of miniature components, such as smartphones and tablets. The PGS graphite sheet developed by Panasonic boasted a thermal conductivity that was two to five times higher than copper and helped to downsize electronic equipment by improving its heat dissipation capability. It was the recipient of this year’s Ichimura Prize in Industry for Excellent Achievement.PGS Graphite Sheets
Launched the “Q” Bladeless Air Generator
This bladeless air generator combined the features of a circulator and fan. Energy conservation effects could be expected by combining it with an air conditioner, and the innovative ball-shaped design became a popular topic of conversation.
Launched Professional Displays with Built-In "LinkRay" Light ID Technology
Professional displays, integrated with Panasonic’s original Light ID transmission function developed from visible-light communication technology, were released. This product switches and transmits multiple Light IDs linked to the content appearing on the display, to display a wide range of information on devices such as smartphones, to provide an information solution for use in the distribution industry, transport industry, and in museums or exhibitions.LinkRay
Announced the R&D 10-Year Vision
Panasonic announced that it will focus on the dual pillars of IoT/robotics via artificial intelligence (AI), sensing and UI/UX, and energy via electrical storage and hydrogen technologies, for the direction of its research and development looking 10 years ahead, to help achieve a better lifestyle and society.[Topics] Panasonic Announced Its R&D Concept and Launched the "R&D 10-Year Vision" Website (Apr 11, 2016)