JBL is an American company that manufactures loudspeaker and associated electronics. It was founded by James Bullough Lansing (1902–1949) who was a pioneering American audio engineer and loudspeaker designer. There are two independent divisions within the company – Consumer and Professional. The former produces audio equipment for the consumer home market while the latter produces professional equipment for the studio, installed sound, tour sound, portable sound (production and DJ), and cinema markets. JBL is owned by South Korean company Samsung Electronics through its Harman subsidiary.
Lansing and Decker moved to Los Angeles where they set up a business manufacturing loudspeakers. It was called the Lansing Manufacturing Company. Just before the company was registered on March 9, 1927, Lansing changed his name from James Martini to James Bullough Lansing at the suggestion of his future wife, Glenna. Most of his brothers had adopted the surname Martini, two of which (Bill and George) came to LA to work with him.
Decker was killed in an airplane crash in 1939 and Lansing Manufacturing Company began to suffer financial difficulties without his business guidance. Altec Service Corporation bought Lansing Manufacturing Company in 1941, seeing the company as a valuable source for loudspeaker components. The combined company was named Altec Lansing. James B. Lansing was made VP of Engineering with a five-year contract.
In 1946, Lansing left the company on the day his contract expired and started a new company called "Lansing Sound, Incorporated". Altec Lansing had a problem with that name's similarity to trademarked brands they had developed, so James Bullough Lansing renamed his new company "James B. Lansing Sound, Incorporated". Eventually, this became shortened to JBL on product branding and then officially as the company name.
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