Who is Frederik Philips, How Philips was founded?

With a legacy spanning almost 130 years, Philips, renowned for its diverse products and services, excels in innovation and entrepreneurship, continually enhancing lives through a steady stream of groundbreaking ideas.

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Who is Frederik Philips, How Philips was founded?

Philips, known for its diverse range of products and services for nearly 130 years, stands out with its innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on improving people’s lives with its ongoing flow of innovation. So, are you curious about the foundation of such a success story? The transformation of the 130-year story is quite remarkable. Philips was founded in 1891 by Frederik Philips and his son Gerard Philips. So who is Frederik Philips?

Frederik Philips is both the original owner and the main financier of the idea. However, Frederik Philips only lasted nine years in the Philips company, which was founded in 1891. In 1900, Frederik Philips passed away. After Frederik Philips’ death, his son Gerard Philips and Anton Philips continued the company’s story. In this sense, the Philips company adopted an autocratic management style.

So how was Philips founded? Who is Frederik Philips actually? How has Philips transformed from past to present? What is the role of brothers Gerard and Anton Philips in Philips’ growth? If you are wondering the answers to these questions and who Frederik Philips is, this guide will be for you. Let’s start with the answer to the question ‘Who is Frederik Philips?

Who is Frederik Philips?

Benjamin Frederik David Philips was a Dutch Jewish industrialist and banker. The name Benjamin was added to Frederik Philips later. He is the founder of Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV, known today as the Philips brand. He also founded this company together with his son Gerard Philips. So who is Frederik Philips actually? How did the story of the Philips brand begin? Let’s take a closer look at the answers to these questions.

Frederik Philips was born on December 1, 1830. Philips is known as Karl Marx’s first cousin. His maternal cousin, Karl Marx, was also a famous political philosopher. Moreover, Philips was born as the fifth child of a family that earned an income by producing and trading tobacco. He was born in Zaltbommel in the province of Gelderland, the Netherlands. Philips’s death date is June 12, 1900. Philips died in Zaltbommel at the age of 69.

Philips’ father was Lion Philips, who made an important loan to Karl Marx. Lion Philips was also a tobacco merchant. Lion Philips died in 1866 at the age of 72. Frederik Philips’ mother was Sophie Presburg. Sophie Presburg died at the age of 61 in 1854.

Frederick Philips married Maria Heyligers. The couple had nine children. Their first child was Gerard Leonard Frederik Philips, co-founder of the Philips brand. Gerard Philips was the first CEO of Philips. In addition, Philips handed over the CEO position to his brother Anton Philips when he was 64 years old.

The last son of the Philips couple was Anton Frederik Philips. Anton Philips is known as the founder of the current Philips group. In fact, he pioneered the transformation of Philips into a multinational company in the 1930s. His other children are Leonard Henri, Isabelle, Henri Louis, Frederik Anton, Jacques, Edonard Josef and Marie.

In May 1891, Frederik Philips founded a family business. From 1891 to 1898 Frederik Philips was a co-founder and main financier of Philips&Co. He also served as CEO of Philips until 1899. In addition, Philips’ son Gerard was promoted to acting partner in 1898.

What is Philips?

Philips Electronics NV is one of the world’s largest electronics companies from the Netherlands. Moreover, the company offers consumer electronics, electronic components, medical imaging equipment, home appliances, lighting equipment, computer and telecommunication equipment. Moreover, the company’s headquarters is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Frans van Houten has been the CEO since 2011.

Philips dates back to Frederik Philips and his son Gerard Philips in 1891. At the same time, Philips operated as a light bulb company when it was founded. Today, under the name Royal Philips, it focuses on improving people’s lives.

Philips is a leading healthcare technology company. It is the market leader in diagnostic imaging, imaging-guided therapy, patient imaging and health informatics, as well as in healthy living and home streaming. Its products include home products, personal care, audio and video, mother and child care, lighting and accessories.

Frederik Philips and the Founding of Philips

Philips & Company was founded on May 15, 1891 by Frederik Philips and his son Gerard Philips in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Frederik Philips was at the time an engineer at Abglo-American Brush Electric Light Corporation Ltd. The founders recognized the opportunity to bring electricity to the mass market. Frederik Philips’ other son and Gerard’s brother Anton Philips later joined the company. Anton Philips’ most important contribution was to bring a commercial approach to the company, which laid the foundation for its international expansion.

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Frederik Philips’ sons have adopted an autocratic management style that continues the tradition of taking care of their workers for life. Gerard has a keen interest in science and engineering. Thus, Gerard Philips conducted experiments to extend the life of light bulbs. He also optimized production procedures in this field. Within a short period of time, the two devised a bold plan to produce reliable electric incandescent bulbs at an affordable cost.

At the time of its establishment, Philips branded incandescent lamps reached 11 thousand units in 1892. In 1893, this sales reached 45 thousand, and in 1894 it reached 75 thousand. Therefore, in the new century, Philips&Co became one of the largest light bulb manufacturers in Europe.

In 1909, Philips built a new and modern factory. In 1910, it became the largest privately owned employer in the Netherlands with 2,000 employees. Philips built housing, schools and hospitals. On the other hand, it also provided free medical aid from 1900 onwards.

Maintaining its commitment to technology, the company emphasized high quality over the low cost option. However, in the following periods, it slowed down in bringing its innovative technologies to the market. In 1895, Frederik Philips’ other son Anton Philips joined the company. Anton Philips focused more on customers. Thus, he contributed to increasing the company’s market power through the business connections he established.

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This medical aid is the Health Support Fund called the ‘Eindhoven Vooruit’. The purpose of the fund was to prevent employees from losing their daily allowance when they fell ill. Moreover, in the same year, housing for employees was built close to the workplace. In this context, the company instilled a culture of social responsibility that continues to this day.

Anton Frederik Philips Era

Family members continued to grow the Philips company until the 1980s. The story began in 1911 when Anton Philips traveled to the USA to buy machinery, opening the doors to a new era for the company. During this trip, Anton collaborated with an importer named Charles Corliss. Thus, 750 thousand light bulbs were sold for export to the USA.

When Dr. Giller Holls started working at Philips, it was the beginning of Philips Laboratory. The value of scientific research vis-à-vis product innovation is very important. This is why the ‘Philips Nat Lab’ was opened in 1914. Aiming for high research standards, the laboratory was also a pioneer in Philips’ involvement in health technology.

By 1991, Philips was 100 years old. In its centennial year, it welcomed its users with 200 research centers, 10 thousand new product innovations and 60 thousand patents. In 1991, it was serving in 160 different countries. In addition, in 1998, the company moved its headquarters to Amsterdam.

In the 2000s, the Philips brand shaped its activities with the motto ‘improving life’. Thus, Philips turned towards health technologies. It continued as Royal Philips Electronics in 2001. In 2016, it turned its direction almost completely to the field of health. While continuing on its way with the goal of becoming a leading company in the field of health technologies, the lighting field has become a separate company.

Philips from Past to Present

During World War I, the Netherlands remained neutral. Taking advantage of the Dutch neutrality, Philips expanded into many new markets. Founded by Frederik Philips, the company started a new era for the lighting industry in 1915. Philips developed the technique of argon bulb production. In 1919, it entered the communication sector by producing radio lamps. In 1925, radio devices started to be produced. In 1927, the first radio was produced.

In 1933, it became the world’s largest radio manufacturer. The research division is expanded to include radio tubes and X-ray products. In 1924, Philips, together with two partners, formed the Phoebus cartel to divide the light bulb market worldwide and set a standard lifespan. This means one bulb every 1,000 hours.

In 1920, a vocational high school was established to train workers in light bulbs and related technologies. In 1929, the company focused on increasing its work in the field of personal health. In 1937, Philips steps into TV technology and introduces the first Philips branded television. In 1949, the first iron in the home appliance industry is introduced. In 1950, the first TV and the first vacuum cleaner were introduced with the first live broadcast trial. At the same time, the production of small household appliances such as irons and ovens began.

In the 1930s, as the Great Depression hit the world, Philips moved most of its production out of the country to avoid import controls. In the same year, Philips introduced the pioneering rotary electric shaver. An instant success, it set the stage for other customer-oriented products.

Philips moved its headquarters to Curaço before World War II. In this way, the company managed to keep itself out of German control. However, its wartime role has caused some controversy. After 1945, Philips focused on expanding its product range. At the same time, innovation would be important for post-war recovery.

He bought a record label in 1951. In the 1960s, he continued to invest in record labels such as Mercury Records. Philips was much less successful in the computer business. In fact, it was one of the companies that missed the personal computer revolution. In 1992, Philips completely exited the computer hardware business. But it remained an important supplier of components for the industry.

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In the 21st century, Philips has established itself as a leading manufacturer of portable defibrillation units, ultrasound systems and computed tomography scanners. Philips also has manufacturing and marketing subsidiaries around the world.

Who is Frederik Philips: Overview

In this content, we touched on the story of Philips, which has a 130-year history with its important technology brand name. We explained how the Philips company was founded by Frederik Philips in 1891. At the same time, we explained exactly who Frederik Philips is.

Frederik Philips was an industrialist who realized an important detail in those years and believed that technology should continue in the light. The company he founded with his son Gerard Philips has since undergone various transformations, focusing on improving people’s lives. Serving for 130 years in the world, Philips has been operating in Turkey for more than 90 years. In all its activities, it adopts the vision of ‘improving life’. In addition, Philips explains its goal as improving the lives of 2 billion people in the world by 2025.

Philips is focused on making its technologies accessible. It sees itself as more than just a company name. Today, it offers solutions that are innovated, people-centered, fully comprehensive, advanced, easy and user-oriented. It is also inspired by the goal of improving people’s health through meaningful innovation.

What do you think about Frederik Philips, who stands out with his story that makes a difference? How did you find the foundation story of Philips? You can share your thoughts about Frederik Philips with us in the comments section below.


michael Stepansky

Conducts studies in the field of political sciences.
Creates their articles by scanning media