Loewe today makes perhaps the world’s most desirable televisions, melding magnificent aesthetics with the highest of technologies for both picture and sound, capped spectacularly by its latest OLED ranges, including the astonishing sculptural bild 9 series (about which, more here).
Such longstanding expertise does the company have, indeed, that Loewe claims a position as the inventor of television.
We have to say ‘claims’ because they’re not entirely alone in doing so — indeed some Scottish, or Japanese, or Russian, or even American readers may have leapt from their screens to hear this, since each of these countries has a foot in the door of this particular Hall of Fame.
We can at least elaborate on the Loewe claim, which dates back to 1931, only eight years after Loewe was founded in Berlin by the Loewe brothers Siegmund and David L. They first developed radios, and entrepreneur Sigmund (below left) took under his wing one Manfred von Ardenne (below right), who had already made the significant development of the triple tube, which can be considered a contender for the world’s first integrated circuit. Loewe bought the patent, and used the multi-tube in the inexpensive Loewe-Ortsempfänger OE333 radio receiver.
Von Ardenne continued to collaborate with and receive royalties from Loewe, as well as going on to found his own research institute, developing the first electron microscope — and Europe’s first all-electronic TV system.
The first public demonstration of this television system, using a cathode ray tube for both transmission and reception, took place on the Loewe stand at the 8th Berlin Radio Show in 1931. Ardenne achieved his first transmission of television pictures on 24 December 1933, followed by test runs for a public television service in 1934, after which the first commercially-made electronic CRT televisions were manufactured in Germany by Telefunken in 1934. (Mechanical televisions called Televisors had been commercially sold by Baird from 1928, though these were more akin to radios with an add-on neon tube, the output of which was moderated by a front-mounted spinning disc.)
Ardenne was involved with the world’s first electronically scanned television service in Berlin from 1935, culminating in the live broadcast of the 1936 Summer Olympic Games from Berlin to public places all over Germany.
Whether that is enough for Loewe to own the role of inventor of the television, we shall leave to the judgement of history!