Bang & Olufsen 'Television' - 1950

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Manufactured: 1950 - 1951
Colours: Wood

This was Bang & Olufsen's first-ever television, introduced in 1950.

After the Liberation of World War 2, the Bang & Olufsen factory was quickly rebuilt in time for the company to become part of the Danish TV boom (as everywhere else in the world) of the 1950s. The company's first TV - called, quite aptly, 'Television' - was launched by Director Peter Bang and chief engineer Lorens Duus Hansen at an exhibition in Forum in 1950. Just ten examples were made for the exhibition.

The exhibition heralded the arrival of TV in Denmark - a development which, over the following years, accelerated rapidly with the introduction of regular TV programmes by Radio Denmark. At the time of Denmark's first television transmissions on 2 October 1951, there were just 400 subscribers! However, the boom peaked in the late 1950s by which time almost all Danish homes possessed a television receiver.

When Bang & Olufsen built Denmark’s first television set in 1950, no one wanted it. Quite understandably, as regular broadcasting didn’t see the light of day until 1952. But this event was significant. That year Bang & Olufsen was celebrating its 25th anniversary and wanted to show the world what the future of electronic home entertainment was going to look like.

Compared to today's sophisticated electronics the prototype presented at the annual Radio Trade Fair in Copenhagen has a quaint air of simplicity and workmanship.

"Round arched and potbellied artificiality with swing and sway and curlicue, often compiled from such hair-raising types of wood and so clustered with plastic and brass that it makes you sick about the amount of ineptness assembled in one place," thundered Poul Henningsen, author, architect and acclaimed Danish cultural critic.

The year was 1954 and his criticism was addressed to an overcrowded industry in a rapidly satisfied market. Survival was a matter of new thinking. Bang & Olufsen sought inspiration in the American market, where radio, gramophone and TV had already blended together in new designs, more suitable to modern homes and lifestyles.

Design became the company's new niche. The gear should look smart, but technical performance should be outstanding. Designers and technicians would have to work together in close collaboration from the very start of a new product. The professed ambition of Bang & Olufsen products today, you might say. As conceived once upon a time long ago in the 1950s.

Bang & Olufsen 'Television' - 1950 Product Specifications

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BeoWorld | Everything Bang & Olufsen

Created: 4th March 2007
Modified: 8th March 2007

Author Notes:

Second Image - Peter Bang with Lorens Duus Hansen.

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