28 Sept. 2006
SETI League
PriUPS Project

What Happened to the Gloeilampenfabrieken?

A number of years ago I attended an Audio Engineering Society convention in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.  Eindhoven was the home city of Nv Philips Gloeilampenfabrieken.  I used to use their full corporate name every chance I had, because it's more fun to say even than schadenfreude.  As you might imagine, while I was in the Netherlands I had the opportunity to talk to genuine Dutch people who knew the correct way to pronounce it.  It turns out to be one of those words that is inadvisable to say while consuming crackers.

I truly enjoyed this trip.  I had never been to The Netherlands before, and I had a lot of fun reading the signs and buying my chocolate in 100 gram multiples.  I endured some ridicule for commenting on my favorite featurehow easy it was to parkbut the hotel was great, and notwithstanding the ease of parking I did quite a bit of walking around on the ancient cobblestones.  (They actually looked like very new cobblestones, but this was Europe, and I might as well uphold two stereotypes in one by fancying them as being ancient but being kept new-looking by the fastidious Dutch.)  Eindhoven is not exactly the place one would visit for Arts and Culture.  I had no complaints.

Apparently someone at Philips prefers crackers to tradition.  I was working recently on a project that required some Philips components, and it seems that in the intervening years they have dropped the Glow Lamp Works, as I discovered when I couldn't find "Gloeilampenfabrieken" on any of the data sheets.  Now they seem to be Royal Dutch Philips (or, a bit more fun, Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V., in Dutch).  I think that's worse than Eventide's dropping of the Clockworks.  (Sproingggg.)

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