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A brief history of Mullard

Keith R Thrower, History of the British Radio Valve to 1940
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Mullard Radio Valve Co Ltd. Following its formation in 1920, the company initially manufactured various versions of the R-valve, together with a range of transmitting diodes and triodes. For a short while, manufacture continued at the old Z Electric Lamp plant at Southfields, whilst a new facility was being prepared at Claybrooke Road, Hammersmith. With the greater demand for radio valves, larger premises were required and the company moved in 1923 to Balham. In later years, factories were opened at Mitcham in Surrey and at Blackburn in Lancashire.

As the Mullard company expanded, there was a demand for more capital to increase its development and manufacturing facilities. Consequently, in 1924, half the company shares were bought by the Dutch company, N V Philips Gloeilampenfabrieken. Three years later, Philips acquired the remaining shares of Mullard to meet further demands for capital.

Two non-manufacturing companies to whom Mullard sold valves were the Electron Co., which used the brand name SDI-SDCTY, and Ever Ready. Mullard bought all the shares of the Electron Co. in 1928 and changed the name to the Six-Sixty Radio Co Ltd; the company was sold to Ever Ready in 1935.

In 1938, Mullard purchased the valve interests of E K Cole Ltd., better known as Ekco. Mullard quickly became established as the major valve manufacturer in Britain, accounting for about 40% of the total production by the late 1930s. (In post- World War 2 years, this percentage increased, and by 1954, they were producing about 60% of the UK output.)

Reference: 1004.

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