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Japan Victor Company
JVC was established in Yokohama, Japan in 1927 as the Japanese subsidiary of the U.S. firm, Victor Talking Machine Company.
Born as a company that manufactured phonographs, JVC also pressed the first record in Japan, offering a rare combination of hardware and software production capability. Subsequently, as evidenced by the production of the world’s first VHS video deck, JVC developed into a leading technological innovator in the audio/video industry, creating new products that are a step ahead of the times for a worldwide audience.

Kenjiro Takayanagi, the “father of TV” who in 1926 became the first in the world to successfully project an image onto a cathode ray tube, joined JVC after World War II. He was involved in the commercialization of color TVs and the development of the two-head helical scan system, which later became the foundation for videocassette recorders.

Having made Japan’s first domestically manufactured phonograph “victorola” in 1930, JVC continued on by producing Japan’s first EP record as well as Japan’s first stereo record player, pursuing the realistic reproduction of sound sources and sound fields, through both hardware and software. Breakthroughs included the development of the 45/45 stereo record system and innovations in two-head videotape recorders and four-channel audio systems.

The world’s first VHS format video recorder, which was developed by JVC and introduced in 1976, eventually became the de facto world standard for video, and spawned an entirely new cultural phenomenon based on visual communication. JVC innovations in video continued, with the introduction in 1984 of the world’s first single unit video camera/recorder and in 1995 with the introduction of the world’s first pocket-sized digital video camcorder.

JVC Americas Corp. and Kenwood USA Corporation merged operations, forming a single subsidiary in the United States, JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation on October 1st, 2014.

Exhibits in the Backstage Heritage Collection

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