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Death of Stanley Mullard

Wireless World November, 1979.
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S R mullard, MBE MIEE pictured in 1943 on his appointment as present of the Radio Manufacturers Association.

Stanley Robert Mullard MBE (MIL), one of the pioneers of the UK radio industry, died on September 1, 1979 at the age of 95.

Stanley Mullard was born in 1883 and after leaving school and attending a Sussex polytechnic, joined a firm of electric lamp manufacturers. He continued his studies at the Northampton Institute (now the City University) and became a director of the company when he was only 24. Later he joined the Ediswan Company and in 1915, while working in the lamp research laboratory, he developed the 'Pointolite' arc lamp which was used in projection apparatus for over 40 years.

At the start of the first world war Stanley Mullard enlisted in the Engineers' Battalion of the Royal Naval Reserve, but continued his work at Ediswan at the Admiralty's request. His interests by then extended to radio valves and his wide knowledge of glass technology and vacuum techniques enabled him to make valuable contributions to the fast growing use of valves in military radio equipment.

In 1916, as a lieutenant in the RN Volunteer Reserve, he was posted to the RN Air Service and put in charge of a special valve laboratory at Imperial College, London. It was largely due to his participation that the manufacture of silica-type power transmitting valves became practicable by the end of 1919. By September 1920, an order for 250 valves raised the capital required for him to form the Mullard Radio Valve Company.

Demand for small receiving valves quickly exceeded output time and again, in particular with the introduction of the BBC's London transmitter, 2LO, until by 1924 production had reached 2.2 million a year. By demonstrating that reliable valves could be made cheaply Stanley Mullard helped materially to lay the foundations of the British radio industry.

Further increases in production and the establishment of the Mullard Wireless Co., to handle marketing and distribution, were followed by the need to move to a larger factory at Mitcham in Surrey. Eventually the call for research facilities beyond the scope of such a young company led to the establishment in 1924 of close links with NV Philips in Holland and over the next few years Philips acquired all the shares in the company.

In 1929 Stanley Mullard resigned as managing director of the company, but continued as a director actively interesting himself in the company's affairs until its golden jubilee celebrations in 1970. He lived to see the small venture he founded grow to an organisation employing more than 11,000, people and occupying a leading place in the world's electronic industry.

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