Bang & Olufsen Facts and Trivia

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BeoFacts

Little things mean a lot!

You've perhaps seen a piece of Bang & Olufsen equipment used somewhere on-screen and couldn't quite remember where you've seen it or what it was. Here is a page of BeoTrivia - information which doesn't quite fit anywhere else. Want to add something to the list? Then contact us and let us know!

Did you know that...

Purveyor to the stars

Pierce Brosnan does it, Tom Cruise does it too! They’ve all tried it on Baywatch. When a piece of Bang & Olufsen equipment appears in a prominent position in a movie or a TV programme it is most likely through the influence of 'Propaganda', Bang & Olufsen's Swiss product placement agency. However, the company never pays to have their equipment prominently placed in big blockbuster movies! In the James Bond movie 'Tomorrow Never Dies' there are six AV 9000 monitors, two Beovision Avants, two BeoSound 9000s, one BeoSound Ouverture and countless BeoCom telephones! more>>

"Only One Touch"

An important technological success came in 1939 when Bang & Olufsen introduced the first radio with 'quick-touch' operation which made it possible to select a station merely by pressing just one button. This was the first time that user-friendly operation was really put into focus. "Only One Touch" has become a typical Bang & Olufsen product feature since 1939 with the introduction of the Radio Master de Luxe 39K. Because of its simplicity, the user could access many European stations directly by pressing just one button.

60 beer cans to the kilo

In theory, you could go out into your garden, fill your wheelbarrow with soil and produce 7 kilos of aluminium from its content. 'Melt-down electrolysis', as the production method is called, consumes a relatively large amount of energy, though. That’s why raw aluminium production takes place where a "natural" surplus of energy is present, i.e. hydro-electric plants in Iceland and Norway. If aluminium is disposed of naturally, it will decompose into aluminium oxide (soil). But, being such a costly material which is easily recycled, this is what happens to 95% of all beer cans sold in Sweden.

Beo firsts

The Beolit 39 was the first product to bear the 'Beo' name. The 'lit' part of the name reflects what the radio was originally made of - Bakelite! Beovision 4402 in 1977 was Bang & Olufsen's first remote-controlled TV set using an ultrasonic remote control commander and Beomaster 6000, produced three years earlier, was the company's first remote-controlled hi-fi, again using ultrasonics.

Into the record books!

During the late summer months of 1959, popular Danish singer Katy Bødtger was sent by Bang & Olufsen to Decca's recording studio in London in order to record Bang & Olufsen's first stereo test record. Decca´s own dance orchestra, conducted by Eric Rogers, led the orchestrations and accompaniment. Katy Bødtger went straight into the record books (pardoning the pun!) to become Denmark´s first 'stereo singer'. The melody was based on the "cha-cha-cha" rhythm of the late 1950s and was composed by Sven Gylmark, arranged by Otto Francker and had lyrics by Erik Leth.

Security codes: security codes for all B&O products

All B&O products are now fitted with hidden codes for identifying stolen goods and deterring burglars. Bang & Olufsen products are widely sought after. But unfortunately not only by honest consumers but also by burglars - in Denmark alone Bang & Olufsen systems are stolen from more than 6 000 homes a year!

Security codes were implemented in products as a result of Danish insurers in 1998 approaching Bang & Olufsen to discuss some form of theft-proofing for the company's products - specifically the integration of an electronic chip as used in most car stereos. This chip makes the unit completely unusable once it has been disconnected unless the right PIN code is then keyed in.

The Farm is not a place to raise cattle!

Known as 'The Farm', Bang & Olufsen's new headquarters was designed by KHR A/S Architects headed by project architect Jan Søndergaard MAA in 1997. The name is a reference to Peter Bang & Svend Olufsen's first factory in 1927 on a bare field along Hjerm road in Gimsing, which is now a suburb of Struer. During the 1930s, the two engineers built one of Denmark's leading radio companies and a whole small town grew up around the factory: the so-called 'B&O town'. In 1945, the buildings were exposed to counter-sabotage by German sympathisers and a contorted iron bar, the last remains of the old factory, now stands as a sculpture outside 'Factory 1', built in 1945-46 on the site of the old factory. Factory 2 stands behind Factory 1 and in the first row towards the bay Venø Bugt, Bang & Olufsen's factories 3, 4 and 5 all fan out, products of the growth years from the launching of the well-known Beomaster 900 in 1964 until stagnation hit the industry in the mid 70s. Visitors are not allowed in the factories, but the local museum in Struer has a permanent exhibition of products, photographs and videotapes from B&O's recent past.

Did you know that in 1985, in celebration of the company's sixtieth anniversary, the event was celebrated with the release of a Corgi replica Bang & Olufsen van from the 1920s... a collector's item nowadays! The vehicle was a Ford Van no 6l312 type Y21!

Jacob Jensen

Did you know the first piece of work Jacob Jensen did for Bang & Olufsen was the Beomaster 1000 version 2? He just changed the colour of the top panel from white to black!

BeoCom 2

The BeoCom 2 ring sounding like like cow bells is apocryphal! As visitors to Bang & Olufsen's Struer headquarters know, there are no cows outside the Farm... only sheep! The ring of the BeoCom 2 was based on the sound of a piece of tubing falling on the floor. David Lewis was carrying a piece of metal tubing which he accidentally dropped to the ground. He thought the sound so interesting that a composer was called in to sample the sound and make a ring tone!

A change of name

From October 1994 all names of Bang & Olufsen products had a lower case letter within them as in 'Beomaster 2000'. After this date the products name changed to include a capital letter: as in 'BeoSound 3200'. BeoWorld has emulated this. All products pre-autumn 1994 are denoted in lower case - as in Beocord; from autumn 1994 an upper-case letter is used in the middle of the name - as in BeoCord!

Created: 28th March 2007
Modified: 3rd April 2007

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