The economic recovery in Japan in the twentieth century gave birth to several world-famous companies. One of such famous brands is Toshiba, it is essentially the largest conglomerate uniting dozens of enterprises. The history of the company does not even begin in the last century, but in the XIX century. The year of foundation of Toshiba is 1875, when in Tokyo this company was founded by Hisashige Tanaka. Then the company was called Tanaka Engineering Works.

I must say, the founder was a true technical genius. Not by chance he was nicknamed even Japanese or Asian Edison. At different times Tanaka was fond of mathematics, astronomy, and even other sciences. For example, he created a spring clock, a light source that was ten times better than a similar one from a good candle. The inventor took part in the creation of guns, locomotives and even steamers. But the glory was brought to him by perfect mechanical dolls.


In 1890 another Japanese, Ichisuke Fujioko, created the company Hakunetsu-Sha, which was engaged in electricity. After 9 years, special incandescent lamps were created, which had no analogues in the country. A little later the company took a big name Tokyo Electric Company. And the company Toshiba itself appeared as a result of the merger of the two companies mentioned above.

True, it happened only in 1939. By that time, the company had achieved a number of important successes. For example, at the beginning of the 20th century, nobody built refrigerators in the country. Then the company Tanaka Engineering Works volunteered to solve this unpleasant problem for the Japanese. At that time it was already called Shibaura Engineering Works. Work on the creation of the first Japanese refrigerator began in 1929, and in 1930 the first national electric product of this kind appeared. The most interesting thing is that outwardly this device was very similar to the analogue from the American General Electric. And this should not be surprised. After all, in many industries beginnings of the Japanese start with copying, and own original production begins later. So it was this time.

But in the new product there was a place for technical improvements. Japanese engineers did their best to make their refrigerator as quiet as possible, as it was real for that time. But because of this, we had to seriously rework the design of the model. Only here for the Shibaura Engineering Works it was almost the only advantage. After all, the result in almost all parameters was inferior to American analogues. But for Japanese industry it was the norm to start small.

The first pancake really came out lumpy. But in a few years the zealous Japanese introduced their new model of a refrigerator. This time it was about a completely independent development, there was no copying. True, in Japan itself it was difficult to count on a good market. After all, at that time refrigerators were the most real luxury, afford only the richest.

A couple of years later, Shibaura Engineering Works introduced another new refrigerator, this time it could already be called revolutionary. This device had a rather unusual design. In the lower part of it there is an evaporator and a compressor, which was a novelty. Thanks to the accumulated experience, the company becomes an important player in the Japanese refrigerator market. Prior to merging with the “Tokyo Electricians” the company managed to arrange the production of even vacuum cleaners, as well as washing machines.

That very historical merger happened in 1939. The new company was officially named Tokyo Shibaura Electric Company. But among the people, it became known as Toshiba. Officially, this name was given to the firm only in 1978. The word Toshiba was obtained by adding the first parts of the names of the creators.


Even before the outbreak of World War II, the company was able to expand significantly due to a series of acquisitions. The combined company quickly created several very useful for the country developments.Among them, one can distinguish and X-ray tubes, radio tubes, radios, radar, fluorescent tubes, cathode ray tubes. You can see that even then the range of products manufactured by Toshiba was quite wide. So do not be surprised that the company and today already covers almost all the most important areas of electronics and household appliances.

Tos Toshiba suffered a relatively peaceful Second World War. Of course, there was no talk of prosperity, besides, Japan was on the losing side. In the country, the standard of living has sharply worsened, and business has been piling on all sides with problems. For the acquisition of expensive goods, people did not have the money. And many enterprises either were emptied, or were destroyed. So it was about survival and the resumption of production. I must say that Toshiba did it.

The military order, which allowed to survive, also helped in many ways, producing goods for ordinary people. A special demand was for high-quality radars and radio transmitters, created by Toshiba. After the end of the war, these devices were needed by the Americans who occupied the country. Yes, and household appliances, together with electrical equipment remained in demand. Even the minimal demand in the country the company tried to satisfy.

1950s became an important period for Toshiba. In this decade, the company created the country’s first television transmitter and television receiver on transistors, microwave ovens. So that time was constructive for the company. In the 1970s, the company grew so much that it became a multidisciplinary business that participated in a wide variety of industries. It was home appliances, and electronics, and soon Toshiba came to the information technology market. The company not only began to produce separate chips, but also began to present the final solutions, both in the form of ready-made complexes and software.

And in 1978 the company officially changed its name to Toshiba, which is already known all over the world. At that moment, there was one important change in her work, which is worth noting. In Toshiba are beginning to make special emphasis on new technologies. In the bowels of the company, computer solutions are constantly being created. The Japanese are working on memory modules, personal computers, software products. It was Toshiba in 1985 that created the world’s first IBM-compatible portable computer.

This laptop is called the first in history. Of course, portable computers appeared before. This was done by IBM itself, and by the modest Osborne firm. But only such devices did not remind the notebooks in the usual sense. Their dimensions were with a modern system unit, with a small screen and keyboard. Toshiba also created such a device, which became the first-born in the now popular class of computers.

Today the company is one of the world’s largest notebook manufacturers. But this is not the only direction. For example, the Japanese are actively developing new technologies, for example, robots. Toshiba has already created several smart home appliances. For example, the ApriPoco device must replace all home remote controls. In this case, the robot has its own memory, in which he remembers the actions of man. Then it remains only to carry out his commands to work with the technique.

And another robot model, ApriAlpha is designed for a much wider range of tasks. The robot can read emails that come to the email address, give information about the weather, and talk about the news in the world. In addition, the device has a number of entertainment functions. But in general, the robotics from Toshiba still noticeably inferior to such other Japanese giants as Sony, Toyota, Honda.

In the present Toshiba, as already mentioned, is a real conglomerate, keiretsu. The company consists of dozens of independent enterprises, which are engaged in every direction. And although the full independence of the “daughters” is declared, the unified leadership manages everything.


Today, products from Toshiba are used all over the world by absolutely different people. Some choose washing machines from this brand, and some prefer Japanese laptops. And although the brand covers a lot of areas, it manages not to blur and stay strong. Such an achievement of the Japanese can not be disregarded. And the financial position of the company is very stable. Turnover of the Japanese giant is about 66 billion dollars, and works for Toshiba more than two hundred thousand employees.

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