Peter Laurits Jensen was born on May 16, 1886 in a straw-thatched cottage in the eastern region of Demark on the island of Falster, on the shore of the Baltic Sea. Peter was the fourth of six children, which included three girls and three boys.
Jensen made a breakthrough by linking a microphone and a transmitter circuit as a sending apparatus and connecting a crystal detector to a grounded telegraph ticker as a receiver. Jensen also experimented with broadcasting recorded music to ships at sea.
In 1909 Poulsen sold his American patent rights to the Poulsen Wireless Telephone and Telegraph Company, which reorganized as the Federal Telegraph Company. Jensen went to California to install the Poulsen equipment and met Edwin Pridham, an electrical engineer who taught him English. The reorganization left Jensen and Pridham jobless. They obtained financial backing and established their own firm, the Commercial Wireless and Development Company.
On December 24, 1915, during San Francisco’s annual Christmas Eve celebration, a massive crowd of 75,000 eager onlookers converged upon City Hall to hear the “sound miracleIt was reported that the speech, as well as Christmas carols from choirs and songs from a world-famous opera singer, could be heard from miles away into Napa Valley with “absolute distinctness.” All this revelry and exhilaration was due to a single loudspeaker give the name the Magnavox (meaning “great sound” in Latin) invented and constructed by Peter Laurits Jensen.
Jensen and Pridham form Magnavox Co.
President Woodrow Wilson uses loudspeaker in San Diego speech. The Magnavox gains national notoriety.
Speakers used in political conventions and by campaigns of James Cox and Warren Harding, including March 4, 1921 Harding inauguration.
Jensen invents first commercial moving coil radiator loudspeaker.
Jensen forms Jensen Radio Manufacturing Co. in Chicago.
Jensen Co. manufactures 60% of all speakers being made for independent radio producers. Jensen introduces the permanent magnet dynamic loudspeaker, the first commercial compression-driven horn tweeter and the first molded hi-fi speaker diaphragm were unveiled. – Jensen pioneers high fidelity, develops and produces first multiple speaker system.
Leo Fender develops one of first guitar amplifier and chooses Jensen speakers for their excellent tone. Throughout the 1940’s, 1950’s and most of the 1960’s, Fender, Ampeg, Gibson and all the other major amplifier companies used Jensen musical instrument speakers until Jensen stopped making them in the late 1960s.
1943 - 1946
Served as chief consultant to the United States War Production Board, radio and radar division.
Last development under Jensen was the flat piston woofer, introduced.
Peter Laurits Jensen passes away on Oct. 25 at his home in Western Springs, Illinois at age of 75.
After more than 80 years, JENSEN brand electronics, including radios and speakers, continue to be produced to the highest quality standards that Peter L. Jensen demanded when he first ventured out on his own in 1927. Today’s JENSEN products proudly follow in the footsteps of its founder and continue to lead the way in innovation. Over the years JENSEN has also expanded its electronics product line and now offers LCD Televisions and proprietary lines that include JENSEN, Jensen RV, JENSEN Heavy Duty and Voyager Observation Systems.