History

1917(Taisho 6) 〜 Shimadzu's technology takes flight, producing many firsts in Japan and globally

The Sanjo Works, Circa 1925

In 1917, the storage battery business was established separately as Japan Storage Battery Co., Ltd. Later that year, Shimadzu Corporation was officially established, as a means of further expanding the enterprise. Construction of the Sanjo Works began simultaneously.
The variety of product lines developed and manufactured at the Sanjo Works resulted in tremendous growth for Shimadzu.
In 1933, Shimadzu began to manufacture Japan’s first industrial X-ray device (the WELTES), which opened the way to non-destructive testing in Japan.
The next year, Shimadzu developed Japan’s first spectrograph, thereby advancing into the field of analytical instruments. This remains one of our core business enterprises.
The technology that Shimadzu had been developing really came into its own during the period of high economic growth following World War II. Outstanding products, firsts in Japan and globally, were introduced in rapid succession, and business grew rapidly.
With the advent of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force in 1954 (Showa 29), plans were made to build the first domestic jet. Shimadzu was put in charge of manufacturing the cockpit air conditioning system and other key components. Later, an Aircraft Equipment Division was inaugurated, and a full-scale production system was established. In 1956 (Showa 31), the first Japanese gas chromatograph was commercialized.
In 1960 (Showa 35), Shimadzu developed a vacuum quantometer, a device which served as a major stimulus to the steel industry.
The next year, in 1961 (Showa 36), Shimadzu created a remote-controlled X-ray fluoroscopy system. This was delivered to the Osaka Medical Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases, marking a new era in X-ray diagnostics.
Such products not only served to bolster Shimadzu, but also encouraged the growth of Japanese industrial and medical fields.

Japan’s First Photoelectric SpectrophotometerJapan’s First General Purpose Gas Chromatograph
World's First Remote-Controlled X-Ray Fluoroscopy SystemSelected as One of the Ten Greatest Inventors of 1930 (Genzo Shimadzu is at the far left in the front row)
1917 Shimadzu is reorganized as a corporation, with the storage battery business established as a separate company
1920 Establishes the Dalian office
1925 Begins production of Japan’s first mannequins
1930 Genzo Shimadzu Jr. is recognized by the Emperor as one of the ten greatest inventors of Japan, and is invited to a banquet at the Imperial Palace
1933 Develops an industrial X-ray device (the WELTES)
1934 Creates Japan’s first spectrograph
1936 Begins to manufacture aircraft equipment
1952 Develops Japan’s first photoelectric spectrophotometer
1956 Develops Japan’s first gas chromatograph
1961 Develops the world’s first remote-controlled X-ray fluoroscopy system