One of the world's oldest and most important electronics companies.
Toshiba's early history has two strands: 1875 saw the establishment of Tanaka Seizo-sho (Tanaka Engineering Works), Japan's first manufacturer of telegraphic equipment. Its founder, Hisashige Tanaka (1799-1881), was well known from his youth for inventions that included mechanical dolls and a perpetual clock. Under the name Shibaura Seisaku-sho (Shibaura Engineering Works), his company became one of Japan's largest manufacturers of heavy electrical apparatus. In 1890, Hakunetsu-sha & Co., Ltd., was established as Japan's first plant for electric incandescent lamps. Subsequent diversification saw the company evolve as a manufacturer of consumer products. In 1899, the company was renamed Tokyo Denki (Tokyo Electric Co.).
In 1939, these two companies, leaders in their respective fields, merged to form an integrated electric equipment manufacturer, Tokyo Shibaura Denki (Tokyo Shibaura Electric Co., Ltd.). The company was soon well known as 'Toshiba,' which became its official name in 1978.
1875 - Hisashige Tanaka opened a telegraph equipment factory in Shinbashi, Tokyo.
1890 - Ichisuke Fujioka and Shoichi Miyoshi established Hakunetsu-sha & Co., Ltd in Kyobashi, Tokyo. Manufactured Japan's first electric incandescent lamps.
1894 - Produced Japan's first waterwheel power generators (60 kilowatt). Manufactured Japan's first electric fans.
1895 - Produced Japan's first induction motors.
1915 - Manufactured Japan's first X-ray tubes.
1919 - Produced Japan's first radio transmission tubes.
1921 - Invented the "double coil electric bulb", one of six great inventions in bulbs technology.
1924 - Started trial manufacture of cathode-ray tubes.
Manufactured Japan's first radio receivers.
1930 - Manufactured Japan's first washing machines and refrigerators.
1931 - Released Japan's first vacuum cleaners.
1936 - Completed Japan's first 150 kilowatt broadcast transmitter for NHK.
1939 - Tokyo Electric Company merged with Shibaura Engineering Works Co., Ltd. and established Tokyo Shibaura Electric Co., Ltd.
1940 - Manufactured Japan's first fluorescent lamps.
1942 - Completed Japan's first radars.
1949 - Completed Japan's first 1,500A-1,000kilowatt unipolar mercury rectifiers.
1952 - Completed Japan's first TV broadcast transmitters and TV microwave relay system.
1953 - Manufactured Japan's first 72,500 kVA umbrella type waterwheel generators.
1954 - Completed TAC, Japan's first digital computer, for the University of Tokyo.
1955 - Released Japan's first electric rice cookers.
1957 - Completed aurora radars for Antarctic observation and radars to observe scattering phenomena.
1959 - Completed Japan's first transistor televisions.
Developed Japan's first microwave ovens.
1963 - Completed Japan's first 12,500 kilowatt nuclear power turbine generators.
Completed transmitters for satellite communications.
1964 - Completed one of the world's largest centralized remote-control monitoring systems at electricity substations for Tokaido Shinkansen bullet trains.
1967 - Completed the world's first automatic zip code reader.
1968 - Developed a 100,000 gauss superconducting magnet, the most powerful in Japan.
1970 - Developed the world's first color video phone.
1971 - Released the world's first expanded IC color televisions.
1972 - Completed Japan's first 700,000 kilowatt turbine generator. Released the world's first color television with black Stripe-type cathode-ray tubes.
1975 - Celebrated 100th anniversary. Completed 1-million kilowatt turbine generator, the largest in Japan.
1978 - Launched medium-sized experimental broadcast satellite, Yuri. Released the first Japanese word processor.
1979 - Completed world's first optical-disc based data filing systems.
1982 - Developed Japan's first Magnetic Resonance Imaging systems (MRI).
1984 - Completed new head office Toshiba Building. Started operation of experimental 50 kilowatt fuel cell power plant, the largest in Japan.
1985 - Developed Japan's first transceiver device for HDTV systems. Developed 1-megabit CMOS dynamic RAM. Developed superconducting MRI systems.
1986 - Developed 4-megabit dynamic RAM. Introduced world's first laptop personal computers.
1988 - Developed 16-megabit dynamic RAM.
1989 - Introduced notebook personal computer, Dynabook.
1991 - Developed the world's first 4-megabit NAND-type EEPROM.
1992 - Developed the world's first 16-megabit NAND-type EEPROM. Developed technology to turn chlorine-based plastics into fuel oil.
1993 - Produced prototype product of the world's smallest MOS transistor, with a gate length of 0.04 microns.
1994 - Introduced the sub-notebook personal computer, Dynabook SS.
1995 - Began commercial production of Microfilter Cathode-ray tubes, the world's first CRT with a filter incorporating the three primary colors. Developed high-density optical disc, DVD.
1996 - Introduced the mini-notebook personal computer, Libretto. Introduced DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives.
1997 - Held "TOMORROW21", the exhibition of Toshiba technologies.
1998 - Manufactured flat TV, FACE. Developed the world's first MPEG 4 graphical data compression and expansion LSI.
1999 - Introduced in-house company system. Launched the world's quietest MRI.
2000 - Celebrated 125th anniversary.
From Toshiba Worldwide Official Website.