Valvo had it's beginnings as a company in 1924, soon after radio broadcasting began.
The name Valvo, derived from the English word valve (valve, electron tube) was appropriate, as the company was a leading manufacturer of these components.
In the 1970's, Valvo GmbH, had four large manufacturing facilities and produced virtually all contemporary electronic and electro-mechanical components along with the products of other Philips plants. Driven by the rapid development in the radio and television technology, Valvo became a world leader in the development of television picture tubes into the 1980s.
In the mid 1970's Valvo, and the parent company Philips, began investigating the patents of Jürgen Dethloff, and Helmut Gröttrup (1969-1972) regarding IC cards. The Dethloff registered product name was ICARD (ref ERFINDERGALERIE). Early development involved 2 very different module layout, both using the 9 contacts described in the Dethloff patents. Philips focused on left side bar contacts, and Valvo developed the 9 button contacts. Cards were manufactured by Magnetdruck Steenken & Co, Oldenburg (CIS - Creditcards Identification System)
It is interesting to note that the first EFTPOS trials using Chipcards also involved the company Philips, who conducted the IPSO field trial of Banking, and Phonecard in Caen, France, from 1981-1985. Philips in France also used a 2 chip handshake module, with redesigned contacts.
Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Kern has donated documentation to the Museum, as well as a selection of the test and demo cards of both types, and we would like to thank him for his assistance with this interesting part of Chipcard history.
We can now show here, a selection of the documentation, in German, and hope to include English translated text soon.