Braun (company)


Braun (company)

Infobox Company
company_name = Braun GmbH
company_
company_type = Wholly owned subsidiary
foundation = 1921
location = flagicon|Germany Kronberg, Germany
key_people =
industry = Small appliances
products = Electric razors
Electric toothbrushes
Coffeemakers, toasters, blenders
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees =
parent = Procter & Gamble
subsid =
homepage = [http://www.braun.com/ www.braun.com]
footnotes =

Audio|Braun.ogg|Braun (German pronunciation "brown", commonly pronounced "brawn" in English) GmbH is a German consumer products company in Kronberg im Taunus.

From 1984 through 2005, Braun was a wholly owned subsidiary of The Gillette Company, which had purchased a controlling interest in the company in 1967. Braun is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Procter & Gamble, which acquired Gillette in 2005.

Products

Braun's products include the following categories:

* Shaving and Grooming (electric shaving, hair trimming, beard trimming)
* Oral Care (now under the Oral-B brand)
* Beauty Care (hair care and epilation)
* Heath and Wellness (ear thermometers, blood pressure monitors)
* Food and Drink (coffee makers, coffee grinders, toasters, blenders, juicers)
* Irons
* Clocks and Calculators

Formerly a manufacturer of radios, slide projectors, optical equipment, and high-fidelity sound systems.

History

Max Braun, an engineer, established a small engineering shop in Frankfurt am Main in 1921. In 1923 he began producing components for radio sets. In 1928 the company had grown to such an extent, partly due to the use of certain plastic materials, that it moved to new premises on "Idsteiner Strasse".

Eight years after he started his shop, Max Braun began to manufacture entire radio sets in 1929. Soon after, Braun became one of Germany's leading radio manufacturers. This development continued with the launch of one of the first combined radio and record players in 1932.

In 1935 the Braun brand was introduced, and the familiar logotype with the raised "A" took form. At the 1937 World's Fair in Paris, Max Braun received the award "For special achievements in phonography". Three years later, the company had more than 1000 employees.

Braun continued to produce state-of-the art radios and audio equipment, and in 1956 introduced its now famous SK-4 record player. Braun soon became well known for its 'high-fidelity' audio and record players.

The 1950s also marked the beginning of the product that Braun is most known for today: the electric shaver. The S 50 was the first electric shaver from Braun. The shaver was designed in 1938, but World War II delayed its introduction until 1951. [http://iavbbs.com/gflinn/shaver1.htm] It featured an oscillating cutter block with a very thin, yet very stable steel-foil mounted above it. This principle is still used in Braun's shavers of today.

From the mid-1950s, the Braun brand was closely linked with the concept of German modern industrial design and its combination of functionality and technology. The most influential designer at this time was Dieter Rams, a member of Braun's design staff. Rams was a key figure in the German design renaissance of the late 1950s and 1960s, and a former teacher at the Ulm Hochschule für Gestaltung. Eventually becoming head of Braun's design staff, Rams' influence was soon evidenced in many products. Braun's famous SK-4 record player and the high-quality 'D'-series (D45, D46, D47) of 35mm slide projectors are some of the better examples of Functionalist design. Another 'icon' of modern design, but less well known, is the electrostatic loudspeaker unit BRAUN LE1, the electronics were licenced from QUAD. Dieter Rams and Dietrich Lubs are also responsible for the classic range of Braun alarm clocks, collaborating first on the AB 20 in 1987. These designs were discontinued by Braun in 2005. For nearly 30 years Dieter Rams served as head of design for Braun A.G. until his retirement in 1995 when he was succeeded by Peter Schneider. Many of his designs - wonderfully sleek coffee makers, calculators, radios and razors - have found a permanent home at the Museum of Modern Art.

In the 1970s, a design approach influenced by pop-art began to inspire Braun products, which by this time included many common household appliances and products. Contemporary Braun design of the period incorporated this new approach in bright colors and a lightness of touch, while still clean-lined in keeping with Functionalist philosophy.

A controlling interest in Braun AG was sold to The Gillette Company in 1967 by the heirs of Max Braun, complementing the razor offerings of that company. Braun became a wholly owned subsidiary of Gillette in 1984; Gillette was in turn acquired by Procter & Gamble in 2005.

External links

* [http://www.braun.com/ International Website: Braun]
* [http://www.braun.com/global/company/history.html History of Braun]
* [http://www.householdappliance.com/braun.html Factory Authorized Braun Shaver Parts]


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