At Philips, we strive to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation. Our goal is to improve the lives of 3 billion people a year by 2025. We will be the best place to work for people who share our passion. Together we will deliver superior value for our customers and shareholders.
Building upon a rich heritage of innovation
The foundations of Philips were laid in 1891 when Gerard Philips and his father Frederik Philips established Philips & Co. in Eindhoven (Netherlands) – to “manufacture incandescent lamps and other electrical products”. A few years later, in 1895, Gerard's brother Anton Philips joined the young company. He proved to be a great commercial talent and within a few years Philips was one of the world’s leading producers of light bulbs.
Inspired by the fast-growing electricity industry and the promising results of son Gerard’s own experiments to make reliable carbon filaments, in 1891 Frederik Philips financed the purchase of a modest factory in Eindhoven. Their plan? To bring cost-effective, reliable electric incandescent light bulbs to everyone who needed them.
Over the years since then, we have continued to improve people’s lives with a steady flow of ground-breaking innovations.
1891 - 1915
From light revolution to
Philips began by making carbon-filament lamps and quickly became one of the largest producers in Europe. From the outset, Philips was an export-oriented company. Large orders were won in Russia, including one from the Tsar to light up the Winter Palace. In 1912, Philips became a limited company, with publicly traded shares, listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. With developments in new lighting technology fueling a steady program of expansion, Philips established a research laboratory in 1914 – the world-renowned ‘NatLab’ – to study physical and chemical phenomena and stimulate product innovation.