Welcome to Australia's only Vintage Radio and Television discussion forums. You are not logged in. Please log in below, apply for an account or retrieve your password.
Australian Vintage Radio Forums
  Home  ·  About Us  ·  Discussion Forums  ·  Glossary  ·  Outside Links  ·  Policies  ·  Services Directory  ·  Safety Warnings  ·  Tutorials

General Discussion

Forum home - Go back to General discussion

 Kolster Brandes radios in Australia
« Back · 1 · Next »
 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 11:11:33 PM on 11 January 2019.
Crackle's avatar
 Location: Basildon, UK
 Member since 11 January 2019
 Member #: 2320
 Postcount: 8

Its not meant as a criticism but I can find forums for most subjects like TV's Military etc, but cant see one for vintage Radios.

I hope this will do here.
I would be interested to know how many of the radios made by KB made it to Australia and which models.
Do any of you have a KB radio?


 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 2:39:59 AM on 12 January 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6345

G'day Mike and welcome to Australia.

No offence taken with your observations. When these forums were young there were only three, they being the first three here and most topics were discussed here. The other forums were added merely to attract discussions on those particular subjects. You are in the right place.

I've definitely heard of the brand Kolster Brandes though these were only common here during the 1920s and only for a short time. Australia, being a very small country at the time, decided early on to protect secondary industries from competition and this gave rise to many successful local manufacturers and brands.

The local arms of Marconi and Telefunken merged to form Amalgamated Wireless, more commonly known as AWA and other local brands included Kriesler, Astor, Airzone, Breville, United Distributors, Radiair, Healing and National. Foreign companies such as Philips, Stromberg-Carlson, Standard Telephones and Cables (known as Western Electric or ITT in other countries), HIs Master's Voice (Thorn EMI) and Philco all owned Australian factories or had Australian manufacturers badge-engineer radios on their behalf.

Brands like Kolster-Brandes, Stewart Warner, Atwater Kent, Crosley, Majestic, Bush, Ekco, and many European brands did have a presence here but after about 1930 it was more due to migrants bringing their radio with them when they came to Australia to live rather than being sold here through a department store. Families did tend to bring their radio because they were a significant investment and it was probably a chance for some of them to worm their way out of the final HP payments too!

I don't have any KBs but some members here may.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 5:33:36 PM on 12 January 2019.
Crackle's avatar
 Location: Basildon, UK
 Member since 11 January 2019
 Member #: 2320
 Postcount: 8

Hi Brad
Thanks for your very informative reply, I wonder if anybody else will pop up with a KB or 2.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 5:37:33 AM on 13 January 2019.
Gandhn's Gravatar
 Location: Windella, NSW
 Member since 5 November 2010
 Member #: 770
 Postcount: 343

There is one on Ebay at the moment. I had heard the name, but don't think I have ever seen one in real life.


Mike, congratulations on your collection and the web museum, it is most impressive.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 11:47:51 PM on 13 January 2019.
Crackle's avatar
 Location: Basildon, UK
 Member since 11 January 2019
 Member #: 2320
 Postcount: 8

No body bought the KB BR40 on Ebay then, maybe a little pricey. It looks like this radio was probably "emigrated" to Australia as it has Long Waves. KB did make an export version of that one (without LW), I have the prototype of it.



 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 2:48:54 PM on 15 January 2019.
Relayautomatic's avatar
 Location: Canberra, ACT
 Member since 24 April 2012
 Member #: 1136
 Postcount: 122


Brad is correct about immigrants ('ten pound poms') bringing out KB radios to Australia. The first KB set, with long wave band, I saw was brought from the UK by a relative in 1961. (He also brought out a 405-line BW TV and was very annoyed when he found out that it would not work here. I was given, not 'gifted', the TV for parts.) The KB set I got later in 1966 but as I didn't appreciate its significance I stripped it too.

From the logos on your excellent Web museum I now realise that I have seen other earlier KB sets over the years but did not recognise the brand at the time.


* Point of order Mr Administrator; STC (Aust) was part of ITT otherwise know as Standard Electric after 1925 but not Western Electric. WE was part of AT&T and was the main manufacturer/supplier for Bell Telephone and its associated telecom companies. ITT and AT&T had an information sharing agreement but AT&T operated in the Americas, both north and south, while ITT operated in the rest of the World. That said WE did export a range of electrical equipment throughout the World.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 3:30:44 PM on 19 January 2019.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1901

Western Electric let their registration slip and the name was picked up by a guy who owned the movie theatre at Canley Heights. He also had a radio and TV shop. I used to work for him as a kid while at school.

I used to repair transistor radios for him, including a few immigrant Kolster Brandes. Saw quite a few of them (immigrants and KBs) because I lived at Cabramatta, where the migrant hostel was (is?).

Common task was swapping out the battery terminals to fit ones available in Oz.

« Back · 1 · Next »
 You need to be a member to post comments on this forum.

Sign In

 Keep me logged in.
Do not tick box on a computer with public access.