NEW YORK — While we are pleased and thankful that TWICE has made it to its 25th anniversary, in doing research for this special issue we were reminded of — and stumbled over — some significant milestones for several esteemed companies that put our 25 years in business in perspective.

Of course, The NPD Group comes to mind first, since they approached us to celebrate our 25th anniversary and their quarter-century mark in tracking the CE industry.

While I’m sure I have missed a few significant anniversaries, here are — thanks to Wikipedia, company websites, our own files and several online sources — a few significant milestones being marked this year by a variety of companies involved in the electronics/appliance business:

Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) marks its 15th anniversary in 2011. The cooperative of custom retailers and systems integrators celebrated its anniversary at its Spring Meeting in April at the at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Ariz. HTSA, which originally stood for Home Theater Specialists of America, is led by executive director Richard Glikes.

Coby Electronics, which was founded by Young Dong Lee, opened its doors in the New York City neighborhood of Maspeth, Queens, in 1991. Now based in Lake Success, N.Y., with manufacturing plants around the world, Coby continues to sell home and portable A/V products.

Staples, which NPD’s Steve Baker mentions in his column, opened its first office superstore in Brighton, Mass., during 1986.

Apple Computer is celebrating 35 years. It was established in Cupertino, Calif., on April Fool’s Day, 1976, by — no fools here — Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. (If you’re curious, its rival Microsoft is 36 years old, opening almost a year to the day earlier, April 4, 1975, by Paul Allen and Bill Gates.)

In 1971 Joe and Rachelle Friedman, founders of J&R Music World, opened their first music store on Park Row in New York City. J&R now covers that entire city block across the street from City Hall and carries the entire spectrum of CE products in the heart of Downtown Manhattan.

In January 2012 International CES, will mark its 45th anniversary. CES, which is produced and owned by the Consumer Electronics Association, was first held in New York City in June 1967 and has evolved over the years to become the largest consumer technology show in the world.

Best Buy, the CE industry’s largest retailer, celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. Founded by Dick Schulze under the name Sound of Music, its first store opened in Saint Paul, Minn., during 1966.

A year older than Best Buy is Audiovox, which opened for business in 1965, and sells products under its own brand and other familiar names like Acoustic Research, Advent, Code Alarm, Jensen and RCA, among others. Founder John Shalam celebrated his personal 50th anniversary in business during 2010.

KEF, the British-based loudspeaker manufacturer with international distribution, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The company was founded by Raymond Cook, an electrical engineer who worked for the Royal Navy, the BBC and spent five years at Wharfedale, before opening his company.

Sony, originally called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo K.K. (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation), celebrates its 65th year. It was founded in Tokyo on May 7, 1946, by Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka.

Abt Electronics is celebrating 75 years in business. It began in 1936 when Jewel Abt gave $800 to her husband David to start a business in Chicago, originally called Abt Radio, selling small electronics. The Abt family still owns the business, which sells electronics and appliances from its locations in the Chicago area and online.

Panasonic, one of Sony’s main competitors and known for most of that time as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., was founded by Konosuke Matsushita on March 13, 1918, in Osaka, Japan. In its 93rd year, Panasonic is targeting its 100th anniversary in 2018 to become, in its words, “the No. 1 Green Innovation company” in the industry and make “environment central to all of our business activities.”

For Sharp Electronics, 2012 will be a big year — its 100th anniversary. Founder Tokuji Hayakawa opened a metal workshop in Tokyo in 1912, inventing a snap buckle and later the Ever-Sharp mechanical pencil in 1915, from which the Sharp Corporation took its name. When the Great Kanto earthquake 1923 destroyed its pencil business, the company relocated to Osaka and began designing the first generation of Japanese radio sets.

Whirlpool celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Founded by Louis and Emory Upton under the Upton Machine name on Nov. 11, 1911, they began to produce electric, motor-driven wringer washers in St. Joseph, Mich.

Denon was founded by U.S. trader Frederick Whitney Horn in 1910 as part of Nippon Chikuonki Shokai (Japan Recorders Corporation), a manufacturer of single-sided disc records and gramophones. The company is now part of D&M Holdings.

Peter Christian Richard (P.C.), an immigrant from Holland, opened a hardware store in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1909. His son, Alfred J. Richard, was born that same year and, at 6 years old, began to assist his father at the store, hence the store’s name, P.C. Richard & Son, which has been owned by the family for 102 years. It was A.J. who expanded the store’s inventory to include electric irons when he was 16. By 1932, A.J. had expanded the hardware store to include appliances.

He died in 2004 at the age of 95. The rest, as they say, is history.
Release Date: 
2011-08-08 04:01:00
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Abstract Web: 
NEW YORK — While we are pleased and thankful that TWICE has made it to its 25th anniversary, in doing research for this special issue we were reminded of — and stumbled over — some significant milestones for several esteemed companies that put our 25 years in business in perspective.
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