The story of Simrad starts in 1947, when Willy Simonsen started a company to manufacture radio telephones for the fishing fleet.
With financial backing from Johan Mustad, "Simonsen Radio A/S" was established in Oslo on December 31, 1946.
was one of a handfull Norwegian engineers and scientists that had worked with new warfare technology in Britain during the second world war. Radio communications, radar and sonar were all important research projects at the time, and the engineers took all their new knowledge and experiences back to Norway once peace was established in 1945. Willy Simonsen had spent most of the war designing radio communication equipment, and he wanted to start a company to allow the
fishing fleet to use the
One of Simrad's first echo sounders
for commercial fishery
The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) was also established in 1946. Its primary task was to modernize the Norwegian defence by the use of modern technology, and several of the scientists with valuable wartime experience were recruited.
Among the first projects were the development of sonar and echo sounder, and one of the objectives was that a Norwegian company was to take over the technology to make it available to the civilian market. Simonsen Radio A/S was chosen to do this, and the first commercial Simrad echo sounder for the fishery fleet was sold in 1950.
An old advertisement for one of the first echo sounders.
Simrad manufactured radio telephones for many years..