Sometimes, one piece of legendary gear can spawn another. In this case, one of the most revered vocal mics of all time was on the verge of disappearing, causing a rival to be born out of necessity.
In 1958, Telefunken announced to George Neumann that it was discontinuing the production of its VF14 steel tube, the heart of the Neumann U 47 and U 48 condenser mics. In exchange for the tube, Telefunken had gotten the distribution rights for Neumann microphones. But this deal ended when the VF14 was stopped.
Neumann began to develop a new microphone, while Telefunken went looking for a new manufacturer to partner with, and found them in Austria. The result was one of the finest microphones (or family of microphones) ever created, the ELA-M 250 and 251.