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In 2018, Tungsram returned to the market as a Hungarian-based multinational company. Production is concentrated in Hungary today, but between the two world wars, Tungsram also had small factories in nine countries outside Hungary. Radium Tilburg was one of them.
The first picture shows the factory N.V. Gloeilampenfabriek “Radium”, founded in 1922 under the name of Radio Record, in Tilburg in 1934; the second image is probably from the early 1950s. Tungsram took over Radium in the early 1930s, after Philips enlarged production in Tungsram’s home market in 1929 by taking over Vatea Rádiótechnikai és Villamossági Rt. In 1930, the subsidiary of Tungsram Zürich was founded in Den Haag. During WWII, production of incandescent lamps and radio tubes in Tilburg became very important for supplying some of the Tungsram sales offices in Western Europe. After the war, radio tube production continued until the mid-1970s, with components shipped from Hungary. The work force encompassed over 400 people. Semiconductors, however, were to gradually drive traditional radio tubes from the market. The name and the location of the factory in Tilburg were both changed, the volume of production diminished, and in 1984, according to other sources in 1988, the factory was closed.
Pictures of the factory and a diapositive of a Dutch publicity for krypton lamps are but a few memories of Tungsram producing in the Netherlands. (Thanks to Martin van Rooij and two former employees of Radium Tilburg for sharing their memories.)
Regionaal Archief Tilburg picture No. 036724 and diapositive: Personal collection by Martin van Rooij