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Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV

Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV (Royal Philips Electronics Inc), commonly known as Philips, is a Dutch multinational electronics company. At present, Philips predominantly concentrates the lifestyle and domestic appliances.

In the past Philips was also known for its wide range of electronic parts, measuring equipment and inventions, such as the Compact Cassette (1962) and the Compact Disc or CD (1982). For many years Philips also had a strong presence in professional markets, such as professional television studios, the telecom business and the international Defense Industry.
The old Philips logo or shield. Later logos are shown below.

Philips equipment on this website
Various cipher machines produced by Philips
Dutch RT-3600 military radios
Philips RT-4600 wideband VHF FM radio
Philips/HSA/Signaal VHF FM wideband military tactical manpack radio
Telex machine
Spy radio set, produced in 1947
Post-war version of the UK Type 36/1 (MCR-1)
Message Exchange Device (MED)
Circuit Blocks
Clandestine midget receiver in modified cigar box, built with Acorn tubes
Hollandse Signaalapparaten   HSA
For many years, Philips subsidary Hollandse Signaalapparaten, often abbreviated to Holland Signaal, Signaal or HSA, produced high-end defense electronics, such as advanced radar systems and telecommunications systems, until it was sold to Thomson (now: Thales) in 1990.

Philips Usfa
Another Philips branch that produced hi-end equipment for the Dutch Department of Defense (DoD) and for NATO, was Philips Usfa BV. With its head office in Eindhoven (Netherlands), this secretive company produced cipher machines, batteries, proximity fuses, night vision equipment, cryogenic equipment, etc. In 1989, Philips Usfa became part of Hollandse Signaalapparaten (HSA), which was later sold to Thomson (now: Thales). The Crypto-division was then split-off.

 More about Philips Usfa

Philips Crypto
From 1958 onwards, Philips subsidary Philips Usfa NV, produced a wide range of professional cryptographic solutions. In the late 1980s, Philips Usfa became a subsidary of Holland Signaal, but when Signaal was sold to Thomson, the crypto department went on as the independant business unit Philips Crypto, until it was dissolved in 2003 due to lack of revenue.

 More about Philips Crypto

Nederlandsche Seintoestellen Fabriek   NSF
NSF was established in 1918 as a joint venture of Marconi UK (40%), Philips (40%) and Radio Holland (20%), for the production of professional radio transmitters for the Dutch Navy, the Air Force and the Dutch Colonies. The company later also manufactured radio sets for domestic use. In 1925, Philips took over NSF completely, and after WWII the factory was converted into Philips Telecommunicatie Industrie (PTI, see below).

 More about NSF

Philips Telecommunicatie Industrie   PTI
Philips Telecommunications Industry (PTI) was a special branch of Philips in The Netherlands, where telephone and radio communications equipment was developed. The branch had facilities in Hilversum, Huizen and Hoorn (Netherlands) and for a while even in Alkmaar and Amersfoort. PTI produced commercial telephone exchanges (switches) but also equipment for the Department of Defense (DoD), such as parts of the ZODIAC network of the Dutch Army. After a reorganisation in 1989, PTI became part of HSA, which was finally sold to Thomson (now: Thales) in 1990.

 More about ZODIAC

Other Philips Subsidaries
At the height of its activities, Philips had one or more branches in every major city in The Netherlands and even abroad. During 1990s and 2000s, many branches were sold to other companies, cut-off (e.g. as part of a management buy-out) or closed down due to lack of revenue. The complete list of Philips subsidaries it long and beyond the scope of this website. For further information, please refer to the list of Philips subsidaries on Wikipedia (Dutch).

Here are some of the foreign defense-related companies that Philips once owned:

  • MBLE, Belgium
  • TRT, France
  • Magnavox Corporation, USA
  • Philips Electronic Industrier, Sweden
  • Radarleit, Germany
  • Philips Kommunikations Industrie AG, Germany (a.k.a. TeKaDe)
  • MEL Mullard Equipment Ltd., UK
  • MEL Defence Ltd., Canada
Over the years, the Philips logo, or corporate brand, hasn't changed much. The original shield is shown in the top right of this page and appeared for more than 100 years on all Philips products. Sometimes the brand-name was used separately (i.e. separated out of the shield). In March 2008 it was decided that, as part of and Identity Update, the shield would no longer be used.

Philips corporate logo. Source: Wikipedia.

At the same time, the outline of the brand-name was slightly modernized to the logo shown here. It is only marginally different from the original text. Although the original shield was abandoned, it remained a popular token of the company and kept appearing from time to time. In 2013 the shield was re-introduced. Although it is modernized, the original elements have remained:

Philips corporate shield. Source: Wikipedia.

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Crypto Museum. Created: Monday 17 May 2010. Last changed: Thursday, 01 April 2021 - 10:01 CET.
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