Panasonic was founded in 1918 by Konosuke Matsushita first selling duplex lamp sockets. In 1927, it produced a bicycle lamp, the first product it marketed under the brand name National. It operated factories in Japan and other parts of Asia through the end of World War II, producing electrical components and appliances such as light fixtures, motors, and electric irons.
After World War II, Panasonic regrouped and began to supply the post war boom in Japan with radios and appliances, as well as bicycles. Matsushita's brother-in-law, Toshio Iue founded Sanyo as a subcontractor for components after WWII. Sanyo grew to become a competitor to Panasonic.