On January 22nd, 1923 Dr. Sigmund Loewe bought mechanical
workshop Grüttner & Lütgert in Berlin-Friedenau and
formed a company with the name Radiofrequenz GmbH. The
factory produced the export models EA51, EA52 and EA54.
"EA" stands for "Empfangs-Apparat" (receiver).
In October 1923 he founded a second company for the
manufacture of radio valves: Loewe-Audion GmbH. In
September 1924 Loewe filed the first patent for a
multiple radio tube with integrated components, the "Dreifachröhre",
designed by Manfred von Ardenne. This tube would later
play a large role in the design of the successful OE333
In 1927 "Radiofrequenz" was changed to "Loewe
Radio". The OE333 was one of the biggest successes.
Loewe made more than a
million copies of this radio and sometimes had a daily
output of 2000 radios.
In 1929 Loewe introduced the R553, a AC receiver. This
receiver used a renewed "Mehrfachröhre", the 3NFW.
A further amalgamation of the different Loewe factories
lead to the creation of Radio Aktiengesellschaft Dr. S.
Loewe in 1930, and the company started manufacturing
radios with an integrated speaker, such as the
Loewe was also working on systems for image transfer. In
1942, the name of the company was renamed to Opta-Radio
AG by the German regime.
During the war the company mainly worked for the arms
industry. Loewe himself emigrated to the USA in 1936,
where he founded Loewe Radio Inc.
In 1947, the first products could be seen again on the
Leipziger Messe trade fair and Loewe got back control
over the factories in 1948.
1951 is the year in which the first cassette tape
recorder was introduced: the Optaphon, and in 1961 the
first video recorder: the Optacord 500. Radios were still
being made until about 1978. The brand name still
the war Opta Leipzig was still active in the GDR. The
company was called Stern Radio Leipzig after 1950 and
finally changed to VEB Fernmeldewerk Leipzig. Loewe was
also active in England and Belgium.