Tesla (Czechoslovak company)

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Stained glass Tesla Radio in Passage Světozor in Prague
OPRL-4 Air Traffic Control Radar
Tesla MHB 8080 (Intel 8080).
Tesla 308U Talisman radio 1953-58
The 8-bit PMD 85 personal computer produced in 1985–1990 by the Tesla company in the former socialist Czechoslovakia. This computer was produced locally (in Piešťany) due to a lack of foreign currency with which to buy systems from the West.

TESLA (originally named after Nikola Tesla, later explained as abbreviation from "TEchnika SLAboproudá", which means "low-current technics") was a large, state-owned electrotechnical conglomerate in the former Czechoslovakia.

The company was established as Elektra on 18 January 1921 and renamed TESLA on 7 March 1946. TESLA had a state-sponsored monopoly on electronics production in Czechoslovakia, and produced nearly all electronic products in the country until 1989. Many subsidiaries were created from the original brand, including those at Liptovský Hrádok, Hradec Králové, Pardubice, Žďár nad Sázavou, Bratislava, and Nižná. Later, some of them were transformed into independent state-owned companies.

While the company's wide range of production was impressive, quantity usually did not meet the needs of industrial customers. Many products gradually became obsolete simply because they were not updated; e.g. one particular type of diode was manufactured for over 30 years without modifications.

Other products, e.g. some kinds of SCRs or Power-Transistors were competitive with the world market and so TESLA was the supplier for all eastern Europe Countries. Some high quality products were even exported to western countries, for example the turntables NC 470 or NC 500 under the tradename Lenco.

The most well-known international Tesla product was the Tesla 308U Talisman bakelite radio designed by Igor Didov of Tesla Bratislava and made by several Tesla company branches between 1953 and 1958.[1]

TESLA had to contend with both foreign and new domestic competition after the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia, and had difficulty competing effectively, which resulted in dramatic downsizing and privatization of the majority of its stores and production facilities. TESLA's logo is a rare sight in the present-day Czech Republic and Slovakia, as only a few of its subsidiaries have survived. One of its former subsidiaries, the Slovak JJ Electronic in Čadca is known for its production of vacuum tubes and TESLA Litovel is known for its production of high end turntables known as Pro-Ject.


  1. ^ "Tesla 308U Talisman". Ostblok. Retrieved 2016-05-17. 

External links[edit]

Former TESLA companies with new name:

Some of the present TESLA companies: