The year 1928 witnessed the arrival of ‘talkies’, or talking films. Harald Linnet (1901 - 1986), the cousin of Peter Bang, who worked as an engineer in Struer, some 300 km north-west of Copenhagen in Denmark, was sent to the annual convention of the cinema in Ålborg, a little further north. He took with him a 25 watt amplifier and a large loudspeaker from the fledgling Bang & Olufsen company. The combined equipment was tested during the very first projection of a Walt Disney film with Mickey Mouse as star: ‘Steamboat Willy’.
Those present were very impressed by the quality of the electrical equipment and with Bang & Olufsen realising that they may be on to a potential winner began production of the equipment. In the following years, nearly 150 were to be manufactured and delivered to cinemas right through Scandinavia. It was this combined cinema audio system which was awarded the Grand Prix in the 1935 World Fair held in Brussels that year.
With Peter Bang & Svend Olufsen, Harald Linnet helped design the Five Lamper Radio.
On several occasions, Bang & Olufsen came very close to shutting down their business. The first crisis took place during the 1940s, when Harald Linnet - who was in charge of company development - and their sales manager, Hoffman Laursen, left the company to start work on their own brand under the name of Linnet & Laursen (LL), taking with them some primary workers from their former company. It took Bang & Olufsen several years to recover.
As far as Linnet & Laursen was concerned, the company survived right through to the 1960s with products such as their 1962 Piccolo transistor Mobil (type 633) and the larger Piccolo Box (type 635) becoming popular. The type 633 was a small portable radio covering FM, MW and LW wavebands.
The film ‘Krøniken‘ makes mention of one of the characters designing a television while working for the Linnet & Laursen factory in 1950.
About LL company
Linnet & Laursen, LL , was a Danish radio and television company operating during 1946-65. Under the name LL was known for its quality products and beautiful cabinets. The two founders, radio engineer Harald Linnet (1901-86) and chief accountant Waldemar Hofman Laursen (1907-87), who both gave name to their joint company, had worked for Bang & Olufsen in the late 1920s but decided after studying in the USA in 1945 to become independent.
In 1947 came the company’s first radio receivers Capella and Cardinal. Later products included the Primas (the FM version had no fewer than 21 tubes), Apollo, Piccolo, Piccole and Monarch. In 1952 the factory’s first television broadcast was made.
Their factory was first based in Valby, but moved in 1953 to Vanløse. LL’s huge sales success led to a need for more space and therefore they relocated their factory with its 700 employees to Rødovre in 1959/60. Disagreements between management and high product prices (due to the high quality and the continuing competition from Bang & Olufsen) led the factory to be closed in 1965.
In its 19 years of life LL produced around 150,000 radio receivers together with a similar number of television sets.
A wide range of LL’s machines can be seen at the Radio Museum in Ringsted, Denmark.