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MBLE
Manufacture Belge de Lampes et de Materièl Electronique - this page is a stub

Manufacture Belge de Lampes et de Materièl Electronique, abbreviated MBLE was a Belgian factory of light bulbs, electronic components and electronic equipment. Established in 1911 in Vilvoorde (Belgium) under the name La Lampe Brabant, it became a subsidary of the Dutch electronics giant Philips in 1925. Although initially autonomous within the Philips organisation, it was increasingly integrated with the parent company from 1957 onwards. In 1981 it was fully absorbed by Philips and the name MBLE disappeared, although internally people kept referring to the plant as MBLE.


As MBLE had experience with the development of telephone equipment, they were asked by Philips Crypto in Eindhoven (Netherlands) to develop the PSTN interface for several crypto phones including PNVX and Spendex 40. In 1969, MBLE developed a battlefield reconnaissance system under the name Éspervier (Sparrowhawk), which served with the Belgian Army until 1999 [2].

Although Philips continued the production of capacitors, semiconductors and other electronic components in the factory in Beveren, the market gradually declined, resulting in reorganisations, workforce cuts and sales of factory buildings. In the early 2000s, the capacitor factory was taken over by the BC Components, a former Philips spin-off which itself was taken over by the Amercian company Vishay a couple of years later. Vishay eventually closed the factory in Beveren in 2008.

MBLE products on this website
Belgian post-war version of the UK Type 36/1 (MCR-1), made by MBLE (Philips)
Heemaf Model 1955
Belgian RST-101 spy radio set (MBLE)
PNVX secure crypto telephone, for which MBLE developed the telephone interface
Timeline
  • 1911
    Founded as La Lampe Brabant
  • 1915
    Name changed to MBLE
  • 1924
    Production of thermionic valves (vacuum tubes) under the name Adzam.
  • 1925
    MBLE becomes part of Philips
  • 1947
    Production of TL lighting
  • 1949
    Production of electronic components
  • 1955
    Licence production of Heemaf Type 1955 telephones
  • 1955
    160 academic researchers on the payroll
  • 1957
    Start of integration with Philips
  • 1958
    MBLE takes part in Expo 58
  • 1961
    New factory in Roeselare for production of capacitors
  • 1965
    Capacitor factory moved to Beveren
  • 1965
    5500 employees
  • 1965
    Production of semiconductors
  • 1967
    Starts selling Philips recording equipment
  • 1971
    NATO contract for development of Épervier reconnaissance system [2]
  • 1981
    Fully integrated with Philips - name MBLE disappears
  • 2002
    Capacitor factory sold to BC Components (later: Vishay)
  • 2008
    Capacitor factory closed by Vishay.
Factories
  • Anderlecht (2)
  • Beveren
  • Brussel
  • Evere
  • Grâce-Hollogne
  • Roeselare
  • Vilvoorde
Brand names
  • Adzam
    Thermionic valves (vacuumtubes)
  • Mazda
    Light bulbs
  • Polykit
    Self-build kits
References
  1. Wikipedia (Netherlands), MBLE
    Visited 21 January 2023.

  2. Wikipedia, MBLE Épervier
    Visited 21 January 2023.

  3. Matilo, MBLE type 1955 (HEEMAF)
    Visited 21 January 2023.

  4. Henri (Rik) Borloo, MBLE Nostalgie
    Original website www.henriborloo.be no longer available.
    Obtained via WayBack machine.

  5. Wikipedia (Netherlands), Philips in België
    Visited 21 January 2023.

  6. Radiocollection.be, LE fabricant électronique Belge: M.B.L.E.
    Visited 21 January 2023.
Further information
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Saturday 21 January 2023. Last changed: Saturday, 21 January 2023 - 13:30 CET.
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