Spotlight on
Philips Lighting’s history

Where it all started

Anton Philips

Frederik Philips

Gerard Philips

Philips & Co. was founded in 1891 by Frederik and Gerard Philips, a father and son, out of a family which had a rich entrepreneurial background and had been active in the tobacco, coffee and banking industry throughout the centuries. They started the company in Eindhoven, a small market town that developed into the leading high tech city it is today, in step with growth of Philips. Frederik Philips was an individual with a strong entrepreneurial spirit who brought his son Anton into the business, a decision he would never regret. Together they had a vision for the company which was the foundation for its 125 years of history.

Gerard Philips, born in 1858, was an educated man with a fascination for technology and lighting. He ventured into the highly-competitive lightbulb industry and with the help of his father Frederik Philips, co-founded the first Philips Factory in The Netherlands in 1891.

The combination of Gerard’s technological expertise with Frederik’s business expertise and investment, made sure the factory was a success. Once their company started to grow, Frederik Philips brought his son Anton into the company in 1895, who was highly entrepreneurial and took the company to the next level. This marked Philips’ entry into the international business world and signified the start of a global corporation.

The Philips family was a force to be reckoned with in the business world: Gerard provided the technological expertise whilst Anton had a sharp business brain. This powerful combination paved the way for over 125 years of innovation, including over 76,000 number of technology patents and the emergence of connected lighting that we see today.

To illustrate more of the past, here are some vintage commercials:

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