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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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TODAY MITCHAM, TOMORROW, THE WORLD!

It was 1937 and SS Eriks, General Manager of Mullard, sat in his office, comfortable in his Tan-sad office chair but he was troubled. Mitcham could no longer keep up with the pace of production required to fulfill the radio world's voracious demands for thermionic devices - something had to be done. Eriks was a chap whom melded humanitarianism with good business acumen, the Mitcham site could not be expanded further, what he needed was an available work force and a surfeit of cheap plentiful land upon which to build a new plant yet still have plenty of room for future expansion. Eriks hit on the idea of building his satellite plant 'uuup north' and he chose Blackburn in Lancashire...

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THE MAN WITH THE ELECTRONIC BRAIN & THE DEFIANT M900 RADIO

I did titter when I saw the above illustration from a 1950s comic book, what a treat to see the Man With an Electronic Brain and let me tell you, I have met and known a few numpties who would benefit from some electronic augmentation too. But wait a minute, like me, are you thinking that the electronic brain looks rather similar?  Could it be... yes, I think it is, what do you think........? Well beat me on the bottom with a copy of Radio Bygones magazine, that electronic brain bears more than a passing resemblance to the Defiant M900 radio, a "Holy Grail" piece for many collectors including myself. For those that don't know, the Defiant radio brand was...

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