Panasonic was founded in 1918 by Konouke Matsushita. In the 19th century Matsushita made its name from pioneering products such as the double cluster socket. Another innovative product of the time was the bullet-shaped battery-powered bicycle light which was developed following the problems the founder had when riding his bicycle at night. Most bicycle lights at the time were candles and oil lamps.
In 1927 the company began its move to developing electrothermal products such as radio and household appliances that were considered luxury items at the time. Matsushita wanted to make these products more widely available so worked to reduce the costs but still deliver high quality products. They went into mass production of products such as radio's and irons to ensure they could deliver at great prices. This was followed by the development of electric motors to automate household appliances such as electric fans. After the war Matsushita wanted his team to develop a washing machine and they started to experiment with television sets. 1953 saw the development of the companies first electric refridgerator, automatice rice cookers, air conditioner units, tape recorders and portable radios which were loved by high-income households.
Following Matsushita's presence in global markets, the founder resigned as president of the company. In the 1960's Panasonic moved to develop PA and AV systems for schools, microwave ovens and many more household appliances. Development then moved to office equipment namely a facsimile machine. After surviving economic down turns Panasonic continued to develop a series of popular household products including video recorders, record turntables and colour televisions.
The 1990's saw Panasonic move into the computer markets with the launch of the company's first notebook computer, the Panacom PRO NOTE. This was promptly followed by mobile telephones and optical disc recorders. Today, Panasonic is still going strong and manufacturing many well known products from printers, computers, Plasma TVs, DVD recorders and many more products.