How engineering savvy helped outwit the IRS.

As long as there are commodity-money relations on earth, so much is the struggle between the producers and the tax authorities. Some have the task of collecting all the taxes due, while others have the task of avoiding paying these taxes and at the same time remaining legally "clean".

You don't have to go far for an example. Take, for example, radio equipment, and televisions in particular. How many Russian-made TVs do we have on sale? Legally, the stores are completely Russian TVs, only they have non-Russian brands: LG, JVC, Toshiba, Sharp, Erisson, Thomson, Daewoo, Philips, LG, Samsung, Telefunken, etc.

How engineering savvy helped outwit the IRS.

Everything is very simple: at a television factory in China or Korea, ready-made modules are put into a container and transported to Russia. At the Russian "television factory" these modules are assembled by twisting two dozen screws and the television legally becomes "Made in Russia". According to the documents, only parts were imported to Russia. Such a trick of manufacturers allows you to significantly save on customs duties.

In many countries there is still a tax on radio and television collected from the population. Moreover, it is pointless to prove that you do not have a TV at home - you still have to pay the tax. If you don't pay, they will immediately count a fine and may even go to jail.

In the USSR, such a tax also existed until 1962 and amounted to 3 rubles 60 kopecks. For tax evasion, the fine was 5 rubles. On January 1, 1962, the tax was abolished, but the prices for radios were raised by 15%, and for televisions by 20%.

The "funnest" thing was in Germany. They not only introduced a tax on radios, but made it differentiated: the more luxurious the radio, the higher the tax.

At first glance, the decision is very fair: the richer the buyer, the more tax must be taken off him, but on the other hand, this tax reduces the demand for high-quality radios.

And how was the degree of luxury of a radio determined? Tax officials are simple people, therefore the method was adopted very simple: count the number of radio tubes in a radio receiver. Fortunately, the lamps then rose beautifully above the body.

The engineer Manfred von Ardenne worked in a small firm for the production of radio receivers. Like any German citizen, he was greatly outraged by the high tax on radio receivers. One fine day he was visited by a brilliant idea: if the tax authorities count the number of radio tubes, then why not collect the entire radio receiver in one big radio tube!

He shared his ideas with the management and immediately received approval: a low tax will increase the demand for products. As a basis for his development, Manfred von Ardenne took a three-lamp radio receiver like this:

and combined in one bulb all three lamps, two capacitors and three resistors. The result is a tube "integrated circuit"

Outside the tube, only the input moving tuning coils, headphones and power supply batteries remained.

The lamp was named Loewe 3NF, and the radio was produced under the brand name Loewe Radio OE 333

Customers quickly realized that they could buy a good radio and still pay minimal tax. The demand for a radio receiver grew every day. We urgently had to expand production. Soon they began to sell a radio tube Loewe 3NF separately, for those wishing to assemble the radio on their own.

Competitors did not like the appearance of such an innovation very much and they began to discredit the invention, focusing on the main disadvantage: when the filament of one lamp burns out, you have to throw out two other serviceable lamps that are in a common flask.

The firm quickly neutralized the anti-advertising by announcing that it would replace the burned out lamps. Loewe 3NF at the usual price.

Soon they began to produce a new radio tube 2HF using a similar technology. Inside the lamp were two tetrodes, two resistors, and a capacitor. 2HF was intended to be used as a high frequency amplifier for a radio receiver. Using two lamps 2HF and 3NF it was possible to assemble a five-lamp radio!

Later, the company mastered the production of an even more advanced radio tube. WG36

I think the German tax authorities really did not like the cunning invention of the engineer Manfred von Ardenne, but legally the company did not violate the law and the officials had only to come to terms with the new reality.

With the advent of television, officials have a new concern: to look for citizens who are evading the tax on TV viewing. Hundreds of special vehicles drove through the settlements looking for the signal of a working TV

In 1931, at the Eighth Berlin Radio Exhibition, Manfred von Ardenne presented the first in world of fully electronic television, jointly developed by British engineer John Logie Byrd. In the 50s the company Loewe launched the production of the first cassette tape recorder of its own design.

Of course, she continued to make radios, chic on the outside and fantastic on the inside.

how do you like this design?
how do you like this design?

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