Electrohome

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Founded in 1907, Electrohome was Canada's largest manufacturer of television sets (TVs) from 1949 to 1984. The company was also involved in television broadcasting, and was a leader in data, video, graphics displays and projectors.

From 1984 to 1999, Electrohome-branded TVs were produced under licence by Mitsubishi Electric, and from 1999 to 2007 by Jutan (distributed by Canadian distributor Citizen Electronics).

The company underwent an orderly wind-up in late 2008. In February 2010, the Electrohome brand was acquired by Bluetronics Group a division of Circus World Displays Limited (CWD).

History[edit]

In 1907 Arthur Bell Pollock founded Pollock Manufacturing Co. Ltd., after winning a coin flip with his wife. The Kitchener, Ontario company manufactured the first phonographs in Canada. In the 20's and 30's the company branched out into other consumer goods such as records, radios, furniture, and was the largest Canadian maker of electric fans. In 1933 the company name became Dominion Electrohome Industries Ltd. and the Electrohome brand was introduced for products ranging from heaters to food mixers.

With the outbreak of World War II, however, everything changed. Electrohome devoted 99% of its production to the war effort. It manufactured wooden aircraft elements including wings, munitions components, and communications equipment, including a radio transmitter for the Royal Canadian Air Force. After the war, Electrohome ranked as a nationally known and important company with 1,400 employees geared to meet the demands of the post-war economy. The war enabled the company to acquire new equipment, more production capacity and a wider range of skills. There was also a perception that Electrohome could be a major player on the Canadian national electronics scene.

The company began manufacturing and selling television sets in 1949, competing with companies such as Northern Electric and Canadian General Electric for a share of the Canadian market. Electrohome developed its reputation with large console model TV sets made with real hardwood cases.

In 1954, Carl Arthur Pollock, son of the company's founder, led Electrohome in joining the Famous Players theatre chain to launch Kitchener-Waterloo's first television station, CKCO-TV, as a CBC Television affiliate. It joined CTV in 1964. Electrohome assumed full control of CKCO in 1970 when broadcasting laws substantially reduced the amount of foreign ownership in Canadian media (Famous Players was controlled by Paramount Pictures).

In the 1960s, Electrohome continued to manufacture consumer products including organs, radios, console stereos, and televisions, as it became the first and only Canadian company to make colour television sets. By 1965, Electrohome products were being sold in 23 countries. Total sales in 1968 were $44.5 million. Over the years the company had ten manufacturing plants and two administrative offices in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.

In 1972, John A. Pollock, grandson of the company founder, became the third generation president of Electrohome. By this time Electrohome was widely known as the Canadian equivalent of US companies like General Electric or RCA. Pollock led the company into a number of different electronics ventures and products, both consumer and industrial. Electrohome's most successful products during this period were a line of display projectors that evolved from single CRT monochrome data projectors into stereoscopic virtual reality projectors and digital movie theater projectors, based on the Texas Instruments Digital Light Processing technology.

In 1984, suffering from years of competition with Sony and other Japanese television makers, Electrohome ceased production of TV sets, and licensed the brand name to Mitsubishi Electric. In 1988, Electrohome purchased a second television station, CFRN-TV in Edmonton.

In 1995, Electrohome and Baton Broadcasting entered a partnership, sharing ownership of CKCO, CFRN, CFCN-TV in Calgary, CFPL-TV in London, CHWI-TV in Wheatley and CKNX-TV in Wingham. The following year, the partnership was reorganized: Baton took over full ownership of all of the stations – and with it, controlling interest in CTV. In return, Electrohome received cash and shares in Baton worth $270 Million Canadian, which changed its name to CTV Inc. a year later. Since 2002 CTV has been the top rated Canadian TV network.

In 1999, Electrohome sold the projection systems division to Christie Digital, a leading film projector manufacturer.

In 1999, Electrohome switched licensees, dropping Mitsubishi Electric and allowing Canadian distributor Citizen Electronics (Jutan) to market TVs and DVD players under the Electrohome brand name.

On March 5, 2007, the Redmond Group of Companies announced the purchase of Electrohome brands effective January 1, 2008.[1] Later that month, on March 27, Synnex announced the purchase of the Redmond Group Electrohome assets. [2]

In January 2008, Electrohome announced the sale of all of its trademarks to Synnex Corporation. Electrohome now derived most of its income from its licensing, minor stock holdings in Mechdyne/Fakespace Systems which provides visualization solutions for data analysis, and owns digital cinema firm Immersion Studios.

The company began an orderly wind-up in late 2008.[3] In February 2010, the Electrohome brand was acquired by Bluetronics Group, a division of Circus World Displays Limited (CWD). Also included in the purchase were the rights to Magnasonic, Secureguard and Citizen (Canada only) brands, amongst many others. Based in Niagara Falls, Canada, CWD also owns and operates other brands including Fluance, Nyrius, Levana, SVAT, Defender and Pure Therapy.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]