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CV NUMBERS AND UK MILITARY DATE AND FACTORY CODES

I have just received an e-mail asking for details of military valve markings so here's a little primer for anyone who might have a similar interest. Valves used by the British military Armed Services were marked with a  CV or common valve name which was defined by the  Inter-Service Technical Valve Committee in 1941.     Often, below the CV number,  a two part  alpha code of the form KB/xx  or JB/xx will be seen  which gives the devices manufacturing specification and qualification .  For the first part of the alpha code, the K designates a valve manufactured to specification K1001 or K1006; similarly a J designates a valve manufactured to a JAN or MIL spec.  The second letter of the first part of the alpha code describes the...

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COULD THIS BE THE MOST IMPRESSIVE RADIOGRAM IN THE WORLD AND A MULLARD ONE AT THAT!

Today, I had a lovely e-mail from Christo in South Africa who needed some help in getting his prized radiogram working.   Unfortunately, I was unable to help but was able to comment "WHAT A RADIOGRAM!"  and I think, as this blog entry progresses, you will see why! The radiogram appears to be a SA home market only item, made by Mullard and termed the Voortrekker, only 54 of these leviathans were ever built and the famous Afrikaans short story writer Jan Sebastian Rabie (14 November 1920 - 15 November 2001) had one.  Anyhow, enough waffle, here's the beast:- Christo is trying to restore the radiogram and needs advice on the turntable which I cannot identify and the Ortofon arm/cartridge combination so if any of...

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MULLARD DURING WARTIME

It was a difficult time at Mullard during wartime. First of all, they were cut off from Philips - in more ways than one as the Philips and Mullard parts of the Blackburn facility were segregated with building doorways staffed by Corps of Commissionaire guards who were instructed to not let any Philips personnel into the Mullard areas. The problem was that Philips senior staff were now treated as suspect due to having family members in enemy occupied territory and were hence a coercion and security risk.  As if that wasn't enough, the jolly Germans had a crack at the Mitcham site, first of all in October 1940 when a stick of bombs hit the New Road site towards the...

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WHAT HAPPENED FOR MULLARD IN THE NEW YEAR OF 1939?

We now pick up our story of Mullard in 1939. Well by February 1939, the fledgeling Mullard Blackburn factory was working of sorts with just 38 staff and by June they were firmly entrenched in the manufacture of domestic receivers, components and lamp filaments. SS Eriks, mindful of the voracious demand for valves pressed ahead and by the end of 1939 a second building had been erected at Blackburn to allow valve making to commence with manufacturing instrumentation and equipment hurriedly shipped from Eindhoven in Holland. The idea was that Blackburn would commence pilot manufacture of the new EF50 valve, introduced in Holland in early 1939 principally for television receiver use.  Like it's contemporary, the Acorn valve, the EF50 was very...

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STANLEY MULLARD HAS GONE SO HOW, WHERE AND WITH WHO DID MULLARD GO FORWARD

With Stanley out of the picture, Philips wasted no time in installing SS Eriks as General Manager. With technology transfer totally complete, valve production started at Mitcham and F Kloppert and ex Dutch forces man was sent over as Production Manager. By introducing draconian measures, he made Mitcham an effective plant. With production tightly controlled and mastery by Dutch management complete,, Eriks again repeated his proud boast that 'the only British part within a Mullard valve is the vacuum!' Eriks viewed his empire with puzzlement, efficiencies in manufacturing had been taken as far as they could but by 1937 it was evident that more production capacity than Mitcham could supply was required, the problem was, what could be done?

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