Re-opening Philips Museum

The Philips building at the High Tech Campus If you ask people to name one of the largest companies in the Netherlands , I am sure more than half of them answer: “Philips” and that is true. However, not everybody knows the greater history of this company. Without any doubts Philips Electronics N.V. can be considered as a great example of a small family company becoming one of the largest companies in Europe.

In 1891, Gerard Philips, together with his father, founded the firm Philips [&] Co. The company was established in empty business premises in Eindhoven. Despite considerable competition on the lamp market Gerard decided to concentrate on the mass production of incandescent lamps. In 1895, Anton Philips joined his father and brother. His responsibility was to look after sales. By the end of the 1890s, Philips [&] Co became one of the largest industrial companies in the Netherlands.

Even though there was a crisis in 1930 and World War II after that, Philips [&] Co counted 350 factories in more than 40 countries by 1974. However, this situation changed after the 1980s because of globalization and international competition and Philips was forced to take radical measures. As a consequence, the name N.V. Philips was changed into Philips Electronics N.V. in 1991.The location where Philips began in 1891 is the former factory in the centre of Eindhoven. It was built in 1869 for Franciscus Hubertus Raijmakers, a merchant-manufacturer in snuff and tobacco. Later, it was extended twice (in 1871 and 1879) and even survived a fire in 1888. In 1891, after its reconstruction, it was sold to Philips for 12,150 guilders. He transformed the old building into a new factory and it became a rare example of a national monument. From 1907 to 1991, the building was used for a lot of different purposes including storage, chemical storage and Philips’ Demonstrational Laboratory (Demlab). From 1991 to 2001, the building was used as Philips Concern Archives (Philips Archives).

The Foundation ‘Light Effects in Painting and Sculpture’ also got a shelter.In 2001, the factory was changed into a museum. The museum gives an overview of the rich history of this multinational company from its start in 1891 until today. The bases of the museum’s expositions are important developments in technology, society and culture. Definitely, this place is a “must see” in Eindhoven. [nbsp] Since April 2011, the entire building has been closed for renovation. A special design for the “small factory” was made by GSG Architects: the former factory was put in some kind of glass case. The museum will be officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands on 5 April 2013 at 14.00hrs. The museum will open its doors to the public on 6 April.

Nadya D.

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