-Panasonic Center TOKYO SHOWCASE- History

1918 1920 Improved attachment plug / Double cluster socket

Hit products created by ingenuity

Back in 1918, Japanese homes did not have wall outlets and the only source of electricity was the light bulb socket dangling from the ceiling. The attachment plug was a connector used to connect the cords of electric appliances to the light bulb socket. The founder developed a new attachment plug, which was very well received because it was of better quality and 30-50% lower in price than the competition. The attachment plug then evolved into the innovative double cluster socket, which transformed a single light bulb socket into two power sources. These two wiring devices paved the way for Panasonic’s growth and success.

*The double cluster socket was released in 1920.

1931 First three-tube radio Tosengo (award-winning model) R-31

Super dualable radio

Japan’s national broadcaster began transmitting in 1925, and by 1930, more than 700,000 listeners were tuning in. However, many of the radios available at the time were not fully functional and were subject to frequent breakdowns, which inconvenienced listeners. The founder himself was inconvenienced by a radio that broke down just as he was about to listen to a program, and found the resolve to build a radio that would not break down. The first three-tube radio won first prize at a radio competition sponsored by NHK and was named Tosengo (award-winning model).

1951 Round agitator-type washing machine MW-101

Revolution for housewives - The first washing machine

An endless supply of superior products for the world, and a richer life for everyone through electrification—Based on the motto to improve standards of living with home appliances, Panasonic has expanded its facilities, introduced the latest technologies, and directed its efforts to mass-produce new home appliances starting with the release of an agitation-type washing machine in 1951. In 1953, he ran an ad entitled “Home appliances for a happy and quality life!” in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper with a picture of a home equipped with a variety of Panasonic home appliances. The ad placed soon after the commercialization of the black and white television in 1952 and when refrigerators had yet to be released, represented the founder’s strong desire to make people’s lives more convenient and affluent with Panasonic home appliances.

1952 17-inch monochrome TV 17K-531

Video experience for everyone - The first TV

The company’s first television was released in 1952 before the full-blown start of Japanese TV broadcasting in 1953. With its outstanding communication capabilities, the television had a great impact on culture and people’s lives. In April 1959, the Japanese crown prince’s marriage allowed the television to go mainstream

1954 Dual-cone Hi-Fi speaker unit 8P-W1

High-quality sound, the origin of Technics brand

This product is considered the starting point of Technics, Panasonic’s audio brand. It adopted a dual-cone system, which was rare at the time. With the round equalizer design, it became popular with its nickname of “fist.” It was an excellent speaker system, which remained in service for over 20 years. The Panasonic brand was used for the first time for audio speakers exported in 1955. Panasonic created by combining the term “Pan (far and wide)” and “Sonic (sound)” represents the ambition to deliver Panasonic sound throughout the world.

1963 High Triplex Tap

Long-life universal design

The simple design created to respond to the needs of the times when the number of home appliances was continuously growing. This product is sold with its design almost unchanged in half a century. Together with the High Triplex Tap, the High Triangle Tap, which has two outlets, is an ultra-long-selling item with a cumulative production exceeding 100 million units. In 1964, the High Triplex Tap was granted the Good Design Award.

1965 Vacuum cleaner MC-1000C

Vacuum cleaner - Dawn of the plastic age

This is Japan’s first vacuum cleaner with a plastic body. Conventional vacuum cleaners had a cylindrical shape and were made with steel plates. This model was lightweight with a streamlined and curved design. The front wheel, which had been fixed in previous models, became able to swivel, greatly improving usability. The cumulative production of this particular model reached 630,000 units. It became the first Japanese-made vacuum cleaner to be granted the Good Design Award.

The front wheel of the MC-1000C had a swivel to easily move from side to side and enable the vacuum cleaner to freely follow the user, drastically reducing the user’s stress while vacuuming.

1965 High-performance small speaker system Technics1

The first world changing Technics products.

The first Technics brand product
Commemorative first Technics brand product. The deep bass produced by the small cabinet surprised a number of critics. Technics, which was initially a product series name, later transformed into our Hi-Fi audio product brand.

1967 Radio-cassette recorder RQ-231

Radio became a new culture for everyday life

Japan’s first radio-cassette recorder capable of recording radio programs was born. The product became a must for young people together with the popular late-night radio programs entitled All Night Nippon (Tokyo) and Young Town (Osaka), which started the same year.

1970 Direct-drive (DD) turntable Technics SP-10

Direct-drive turntable adopted by broadcasting stations worldwide

In the age when belt-drive record players dominated the market, Panasonic developed the world’s first direct-drive type, which uses a motor to directly drive the turntable. The second model released in 1975 was adopted by broadcast stations in 25 countries, including BBC in the UK.

1979 Record player Technics SL-1200MK2

The world’s first record player optimised for DJs.

World’s first record player significantly improved for use by DJs in discos and clubs. The record player was transformed into a musical instrument by improving functions as represented by pitch adjustments with linear faders instead of the rotary type based on extensive observation of DJ performances.

The original model of the direct-drive series, which had a reputation for stable rotation It created a DJ culture and its production continued for nearly 40 years.

1984 Compact High Power Speaker System RAMSA WS-A200

The origin of concerts sound

RAMSA stands for Research of Advanced Music Sound and Acoustic. In 1979, Panasonic launched a project to provide acoustic systems to theaters and concert halls ahead of other Japanese competitors. In 2019, Panasonic celebrated the 40th anniversary of this product after tackling successive challenges, including digitization, development of large-scale systems, global business promotion, and acoustic systems for the Olympic and Paralympic Games with large line-array speakers at the core.

1985 VHS Integrated Camcorder  MacLord Movie NV-M1

Two in one - Video recorder and player

Until the development of this camcorder, cameras and VHS video recorders were separate. This model, which was named MacLord Movie, became the world’s first integrated VHS camcorder. Its ability to record and playback a maximum of 160 minutes gave momentum to the spread of video recording at home.

In 1990, Blenby, the world’s first one-handed camcorder equipped with an image stabilizer function was released. It became a pioneer in the culture of recording quality video without camera shake.

1996 Notebook PC Let's note AL-N1

Dawn of the mobile computing

At a time when the term “mobile” was not common, Panasonic proposed a useful mobile notebook PC with a size equivalent to a B5 sheet of paper and less than 1.5 kg in weight, equipped with a TFT liquid crystal display, and two batteries. Ever since its release, Let’s note has always retained its position as a standard business PC.