The survivors - Page four
Radio Components Sydney
Radio Components Sydney (RCS Radio) was founded by Mr Robert Bell, and electrician, in 1932 and the company became a manufacturer of high quality radio components and went on to manufacture receivers and kits which were put together largely with their own branded components. During the war, RCS Radio didn't participate directly in the manufacture of equipment for the war effort but they did supply alot of parts to companies that did.
After the war RCS Radio relocated to Canterbury, New South Wales. Their business in making components continued to thrive. At the end of the valve era RCS Radio started making printed circuit boards for radio manufacturers that produced solid state radios and today, RCS Radio still exists as a family owned company and are the largest producer of printed circuit boards in Australia, catering for many manufacturers as well as the hobbyist market, making printed circuit boards for almost all the electronic kits described in magazines such as Electronics Today International, Electronics Australia and Silicon Chip. It's good to see that there are companies like this that have survived the test of time and foreign competition.
Standard Telephones and Cables
Standard Telephones and Cables (STC) was a division of Western Electric in the United States which was owned by Bell, a US producer of telephony equipment. STC set up a manufacturing facility in Great Britain in 1922, which catered for the transmitter market for the British Broadcasting Commission. In 1895, STC came to Australia to assist with setting up the new telephone services which were to link the Colonies by voice networks for the first time. As with most things, British equipment, rather than American was supplied.
In 1923 STC started importation of radio components into Australia. Complete broadcast receivers were made in Great Britain and sold under the Western Electric brand. While AWA was given the contract to install radio transmitters at the new A Class stations and also to fit out the studios, they used AWA transmitters but invariably used STC studio equipment such as basic mixing consoles and microphones which were imported from the United States. Later, STC was producing transmitters and winning tenders to install them in their own right. STC eventually became one of AWA's major competitors and remained that way throughout the rest of the valve era.
From 1930 onwards STC was producing a range of receiver models in Australia along with a line up of automatic telephones and telephone exchange switchgear. STC was a major supplier of manufactured equipment for the Australian Imperial Forces, the Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Australian Navy. Apart from the war years, STC went on to remain a major manufacturer of domestic receivers until 1961, when they made the decision to withdraw completely, remaining in the telephony industry. STC was acquired by the French company 'Alcatel' in 1987 and still produces communications network equipment though most, if not all, production is done outside Australia.
Apart from an initial controlling financial interest, Stromberg Carlson was an autonomous operation in Australia and beared very little resemblence to it's American parent. The company began its presence by importing receivers from the United States in 1927. In 1928 Stromberg Carlson began local manufacture of receivers and most of the components that went into them, including loudspeakers, a component not made by many radio manufacturers. The companies biggest event was in 1936 when production bottlenecks forced the construction of a new factory which, in much fanfare, was officially opened by the Prime Minister of the day, The Right Honourable Andrew Lyons. Stromberg Carlson made receivers and components both for their own receivers and sets made by other companies. Brands included their own plus Audiola and Crosley.
Between 1939 and 1945 Stromberg Carlson continued with radio manufacture, though as a much slower rate. To make up for the shortfall, they produced telephones and telephone switchboards for the Australian Army. After the advent of televisions in Australia Stromberg Carlson tried to participate in the market but failed to excite. Their lack of working capital to make the investments in developing the required technologies forced Stromberg Carlson onto the back foot. Brief manufacture of electronic organs led to Stromberg Carlson closing for business in 1961.
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Articles and Tutorials
These tutorials and articles contain a lot of worthwhile information relating to specific aspects of vintage radio and television. I recommend a read of these though some of them are quite large. You might need a cuppa tea and a few hours to get through them all in one hit. NOTE: Some of these articles are written by members of Vintage Radio and Television and where this is the case credit has been given.
Collectability of vintage radios
Knowing how to date old radios
The listener's licence and the sealed set
Batteries used in valve radios
Safety with electricity
Valve radio model life cycles
The brands of antique radios
The survivors - Where are they now?
Replicas and outright pretenders
Restoring a 1950 Airzone Cub
Restoration of an ARC Victor
AWA Radiolette v's Pure One
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