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Stanley Mullard

Radio and Electrical Retailing, January, 1964.
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Stanley Robert Mullard was born in London on November 1st, 1883. At the age of 15 he was apprenticed to a firm of electrical engineers, but learning that the salary of a fully qualified power station engineer was then only 7½ d an hour decided that this was not for him and managed to transfer to a branch of the firm making lamps and X-ray tubes. Mr Mullard traces his interest in radio back to this move.

He married in 1910.

After a short spell working in Paris for a German lamp manufacturer, he came back to England to join the Ediswan company, where he remained until 1916, when he was commissioned in the RNVR. He spent much of his service time designing radio valves.

After the war he became a director of the Z Electric Lamp Company where with Naval personnel he developed the first high power transmitting tubes with silica envelopes instead of the conventional less heat resistant glass. In 1920, with the backing of an Admiralty contract Mullard formed the Mullard Radio Valve Company to make the valves, and was soon also making receiving valves. Soon these latter types became more important and many thousands were made under the trade name of ORA. As his business grew, he became involved in a patent battle with Marconi's W T Company. Before reaching a conclusion in favour of Mullard the case went to the House of Lords.

Soon now, the output of the firm reached the record total for those days, of 2.5 million valves per year.

The next step was the formation of the Mullard Wireless Service Company to handle the marketing of his valves. In 1927 a large production plant was established at Mitcham, the same factory now used for the manufacture of industrial valves and tubes.

Mr Mullard had been in poor health since 1926; in fact his doctors told him he must cease all activities - and in 1929 he relinquished leadership of the company, being succeeded by S S Eriks. However he has remained a director of the company, and his retirement has been far from inactive. A remarkably vigorous and well-loved octogenarian he has become of recent years an authority in the waterless culture of plants.

On the occasion of his 80th birthday his colleagues and business associates presented him with a pair of silver candelabra and other mementoes of his long career at a birthday party held at the Mullard works at Blackburn a fine modern plant producing over 30 million valves per year.

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