Sony Turns 70 Years Old Today

Sony has officially turned 70 years young today, a milestone seldom reached by tech companies. Founded by Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka on May 7th, 1946, the company was originally called ‘Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo.’ Seeing how the name would be hard to pronounce for Western countries, a key area to expand to if Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo were to become a global brand, co-founder Akio Morita would rename the company to Sony, as a mix of two words.

 These were the Latin word ‘Sonus’ which is the root of sonic and sound, and ‘Sonny’ which was a common American term in the 50’s for a boy.  

Come 1958, Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo would change to Sony. Despite their downs, Sony has had a long history of creating industry and in fact culturally changing products like the Trinitron televisions, Walkman, and PlayStation to name a few. Throughout that time, Sony has become synonymous with quality hardware and was in fact an inspiration to the late Apple founder, Steve Jobs. That’s why it may surprise you to learn that the first product out of then Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo was not in fact electronic or at least not in the way we would think about electronics today. Instead, it was a rice cooker.

  Masaru Ibuka’s (later Sony co-founder) first step into the world of consumer electronics was an electronic rice cooker. You may be wondering why you’ve never seen this in the market. Unfortunately that’s because the device consistently either undercooked or overcooked rice. It seems the ability to cook rice was an important factor in a rice cooker and so the product failed to be a commercial success… 

Perhaps not for their 70th but when Sony celebrates their 100th anniversary, how wonderful would it be for them to release a limited run rice cooker? I know I’d buy it. With no shortage of Sony products in my household, I’d instead love to hear from you and see what some of your Sony products of the past have been and what you most look forward to from the company in the coming years.

  • Jesús López Sotelo

    My first Sony was a 2nd hand walkman that my father gave to me also my aunt’s japanese (ex)boyfriend gave her a gameboy they bought to get disctracted on the queue lines in japan and a 14″ Sony TV. I remember that TV because somthing happend to the audio and you couldn’t hear the speakers, as a young mischievious child I put inside a fork in the front audio jack and fix it. Ever since then we always had a main TV set, for the las 10+ years we had a Wega

  • Jesús López Sotelo

    Sony has always been part of my family now that I think about it. We always had TVs that over 20 years still work like the first day, Xperia phones and tablets, VAIO laptops, DVD and BD players, Genezi radios, cameras, etc. that had passed over the quality of other brands. The only other brand that has aged well has been a Samsung microwave oven we have, other than that, Sony has been and will be the first option for us.

    Another thing I have in common is my birthday, maybe that’s why I like it so much haha.

  • Marko Požarnik

    First LCD 17″ computer monitors in my office were from Sony. Before that we had 19″ CRT monitors also from Sony, one 24″, I think … But my love started with a Walkman WM-F2081 … Before that I had something similar from Philips that my Grandmother bought me but then I collected money for quite some time and I bought the WM-F2081 for I think 183 german marks. My mother thought I gone insane. :) Then I am still using a big Sony television (now it’s some kind of LCD, before it was a 72 cm CRT also from Sony) … Now I have two Sony Xperia Z phones, one spare, one for listening to audiobooks and for navigation in my car, my wife has Z3, I have Z3 tablet compact (I love it) and I have Z5 Premium … and three blue tooth speakers … SP-X11 and SP-X33 … And my wife has a red vaio notebook – she loves it, I added ram so it has 8 GB now and I changed HDD to SDD :)

  • For me personally, I grew up on Sony from when I was a kid so that’s typically what we had in the house. Now my household is typically a divide of Apple and Sony products. If it’s hardware only (i.e. TV or sound bar, speakers, etc.), then it’s a Sony. If it’s software/hardware (i.e. phone, tablets, media box), than it’s from Apple.

  • My first laptop ever was a VAIO. I remember it was a ‘Pentium M’ because that’s when Intel was starting to go mobile and this was by thens standards designed with Wi-Fi built in and great battery life (again by all the standards of that time). Loved it.