TV engineering staff at Panasonic's Tokyo laboratory.
Many European engineers began research on television technology after Beard of England transmitted moving pictures by cable. In 1935, Kenjiro Takayanagi at Hamamatsu Vocational College built a functioning iconoscope, which was a major step in development of an actual product. Fascinated by these developments, Matsushita immediately dispatched engineers to study under Takayanagi at the end of 1935, when Panasonic's own R&D program was launched at its Tokyo Laboratory. By 1938, the laboratory produced a prototype 12" set, and in May 1939, successfully received test broadcasts from the Tokyo Broadcast Center. In July, the set was shown to the general public for the first time at an electrical inventions exhibition organized by the Japan Patent Office.
Panasonic's in-house newspaper published a special issue on Japan's first television broadcast, reporting that "in a great success for the company, our television receiver proved capable of receiving the Takayanagi type test broadcast."
Tokyo had been nominated to host the 1940 Olympic Games, and electrical manufacturers were investing heavily in preparation for telecasts of the event. However, the Games were canceled when war broke out, and television did not enter the average household until several years after the war.
Panasonic's first experimental television receiver,1935.