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General Electric Co. (GE); Bridgeport CT, Syracuse NY

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Name: General Electric Co. (GE); Bridgeport CT, Syracuse NY    (USA)  
Abbreviation: general-el
Products: Model types Others Tube manufacturer
General Electric Co.; Electronics Department, Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA - in 1949 SAMS writes: Electronic Park, Syracuse, NY - Trade names General Electric, Musaphonic, "Golden Tone".
Vertretung Schweiz: Novelectric AG; Zürich Zudem: Apco vertreibt GE-Radios aus Grossbritannien - z.B: Katalin-artiges Gerät mit Rö = X76M, KTW76, DH76 und U76 zu Fr. 330.-.

A wide range of radio panel/dial and other lamps for radio use were made at the NELA Park facility in Cleveland, Ohio.

Founded: 1879

In 1876, Thomas Alva Edison opened a new laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Out of the laboratory was to come perhaps the most famous invention of all-a successful development of the incandescent electric lamp. By 1890, Edison had organized his various businesses into the Edison General Electric Company. In 1879, Elihu Thomson and E. J. Houston formed the rival Thomson-Houston Company. It merged with various companies and was later led by Charles A. Coffin, a former shoe manufacturer from Lynn, Massachusetts. Mergers with competitors and the patent rights owned by each company put them into dominant positions in the electrical industry. As businesses expanded, it became increasingly difficult for either company to produce complete electrical installations relying solely on their own technology. In 1892, these two major companies combined, in a merger arranged by financier J. P. Morgan, to form the General Electric Company, with its headquarters in Schenectady, New York. In 1896, General Electric was one of the original 12 companies listed on the newly-formed Dow Jones Industrial Average. GE is the only one that remains today. The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was founded by GE and American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) in 1919 to further international radio. General Electric was one of the eight major computer companies (with IBM - the largest, Burroughs, Scientific Data Systems, Control Data Corporation, Honeywell, RCA and UNIVAC) through most of the 1960s. GE had an extensive line of general purpose and special purpose computers. Among them were the GE 200, GE 400, and GE 600 series general purpose computers, the GE 4010, GE 4020, and GE 4060 real time process control computers, and the Datanet 30 message switching computer. A Datanet 600 computer was designed, but never sold. It has been said that GE got into the computer manufacturing business because in the 1950's they were the largest user of computers outside of the United States federal government. In 1970 GE sold its computer division to Honeywell. In 1986, GE re-acquired RCA, primarily for the NBC television network. The rest was sold to various companies, including Bertelsmann and Thomson. In 2004, GE bought the television and movie assets of Vivendi Universal and became the third largest media conglomerate in the world. The new company was named NBC Universal. Also in 2004, GE completed the spinoff of most of its life and mortgage insurance assets into an independent company, Genworth Financial, based in Richmond, Virginia. In that same year, GE also acquired the credit card unit of the department store Dillard's for $1.25 billion.

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
USA  56 14T010 "M" Line 2AF4  General Electric model 14T010 is a 14” b/w TV with US standard VHF tuner channels 2 thru ... 
USA  77 Citizens-Band-Transceiver 3-5970   CB 100 mW 2 Canales a crital de cuarzo. 
USA  42 60 Musaphonic 6AB7  Record Changer and Recording Unit JM-1C. 
USA  47/48 62 12SA7  The General Electric Model 62 is an AC Operated 5 Tube AM Receiver with Electric Clock. Th... 
USA  47 X260 1LC6  Batterie-Netz (Dioden!). Waves: STD (540-1600KC), 49M, 31M, 25M, 19M, 16M, LOG. 
USA  47 XF152 6SA7   
USA  48/49 145 1R5  The General Electric 3-Way Personal AM Portable Model 145 is a 4 tube AC/DC/Battery operat... 
USA  48 160 1U4  The General Electric 160 is a 5 tube AC/Battery operated portable BC band receiver.  ... 
USA  50 600 1R5  The General Electric 600 is a 4 tube battery operated portable BC band receiver.  The... 
USA  50 603 1R5  General Electric model 603 is a three power operated portable superheterodyne receiver wit... 
USA  49/50 601 1R5  General Electric model 601 is a three power operated portable superheterodyne receiver wit... 
USA  49/50 650 1T4  Selenium Rectifier 


Further details for this manufacturer by the members (rmfiorg):

Scanned from the Radio Retailing August 1937.tbn_gen_el_f107_prom_aug37.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing May 1937.tbn_gen_el_fb52_fb77.jpg
Publicidad de la revista blanco y negro (E)del año 1936tbn_generalelectrica.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing December 1937.tbn_f96_f107_f135_f109_prospect.jpg
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Scanned from the Radio Retailing October 1937.tbn_gen_el_prom_oct37.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing January 1937.tbn_gen_el_prom_jan37.jpg
GE logotbn_usa_generalelectric_logo.jpg
Firmen-Logo: General Electric ~ 1960tbn_usa_generalelectric_firmenlogo.jpg
Werbung der General Electric USA in der Zeitschrift "das Elektron" im Jahre 1961tbn_usa_general_electric_werbung_1961.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing February 1937.tbn_gen_el_prom_rr_feb37.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing February 1942.tbn_gen_elect_prom_rr_feb42.jpg
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Werbung aus 1945tbn_usa_generalelectric_ad1945.jpg
Scanned from the Radio & Television Retailing April 1947 page 11.tbn_rr_apr47_p11.jpg
Scanned from the Radio & Television Retailing May 1947 page 11.tbn_rr_may47_p11.jpg
Advertise from 1960tbn_general_electric_advertise1960.jpg
Advertise from 1953tbn_usa_generalelectric_21c225.jpg
Werbung aus 1950tbn_usa_generalelectric_ad_1950.jpg
Scanned from the Radio & Television Retailing May 1947 page 154.tbn_rr_may47_p148~~1.jpg
Scanned from the Radio & Television Retailing June 1947 page 11.tbn_rr_jun47_p11.jpg
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Radio Broadcast, Apr. 1923, p. 523tbn_usa_ge_tungar.jpg
Radio Broadcast, Apr. 1924, p. 535tbn_usa_general_electric_tungar.jpg
Scanned from the General Electric Folder 1000M 9-37 for 1938.tbn_generalelectric_folder_1000m_part1.jpg
Scanned from the General Electric Folder 1000M 9-37 for 1938.tbn_generalelectric_folder_1000m_part4.jpg
Scanned from the General Electric Folder 1000M-PUB.NO. 175-59 for 1947.tbn_ge_folder_175_59_1947_p2.jpg
Scanned from the General Electric Folder 13-497-W for 1941.tbn_ge_13_497w_1941_p1_part1.jpg
General Electric Advertise 1937tbn_usa_ge_ad_1937_touchtuning.jpg
Vintage Ad 1945 - Judy Garlandtbn_usa_ge_vintage_ad_1945.jpg
1951 Print Adtbn_usa_ge_1951_print_ad.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing January 1939 last page.tbn_rr_january1939_ad_generalelectric_lastpage.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing May 1939 page 6.tbn_rr_may1939_ad_generalelectric_p6.jpg
From USA:ELECTRONICS INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 18, 1972 Nº 26, vol. 45tbn_usa_general_electric_advice.jpg
Print Ad 1963tbn_usa_generalelectric_portable_tv.jpg
Postcard of GE Bridgeport facilitytbn_ge_bridgeport_factory.jpg
Worthpoint phototbn_ge_cloth_tube_ad_date_unknown.jpg
Worthpoint phototbn_ge_tube_token_c._1960.jpg
Kuba Imperial Report 2/1966 Seite 6
GE Daten 1965
Kuba Imperial Report 2/1966 Seite 7
Schlüsselfertige Atomkraftwerke, Kernreaktoren und ähnliche Industrie-Anlagen zählen zum GE-Programm. Hier ist eine nukleare Anlage in Oyster Creek im US-Staat New Jersey, die Ihrer Vollendung entgegensieht.
Kuba Imperial Report 2/1966 Seite 8
Ein von GE entwickeltes Aggregat für Super-Jets der Zukunft.
Kuba Imperial Report 2/1966 Seite 9
Vacuum-Strecke, die elektrische Leitungen vor einer plötzlich auftretenden Überspannung schützt.
Kuba Imperial Report 2/1966 Seite 10
Konsumgüter, Vakuumröhren und eine 500kV-Umschaltanlage.
Kuba Imperial Report 2/1966 Seite 11
Computer und Brückenbeleuchtung
Manufacturer documentationtbn_usa_general_electric_touch_tuning.jpg
Manufacturer documentationtbn_usa_generalelectric_goldentone_ad.jpg
Manufacturer documentationtbn_usa_general_electric_twowayradio_print_ad.jpg
Manufacturer documentationtbn_usa_general_electric_twowayradio_print_ad_1955.jpg
Manufacturer documentationtbn_usa_general_electric_fm_radio_print_ad.jpg
Manufacturer documentationtbn_usa_general_electric_marymartin_print_ad.jpg
Logo in 7-1637A.tbn_usa_generalel_71637a_front_logo.jpg
Logo in P-860 A.tbn_usa_generalel_p860a_front_logo.jpg
Small advertising Valve label used on a lot of GE Radiostbn_us_general_elec_valve_label.jpg
GE Radio Service Labeltbn_us_general_elec_radio_service_label.jpg
Electronic Reproducer Labeltbn_us_general_elec_electronic_reproducer_label.jpg

Forum contributions about this manufacturer/brand
General Electric Co. (GE); Bridgeport CT, Syracuse NY
Threads: 3 | Posts: 4
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  Radio Panel Lamps - Dial Bulbs
Fin Stewart

Radio panel or dial bulbs were first used in the USA in 1926-27 when A/C radios were developed. These early lamps were used primarily as "on" or "off" indicators. A range of E10 based bulbs was made by General Electric covering voltages from 2.5 to 6-8. The filament support bead in these was white and the diameter of the bulb was 10 mm. Most of these bulbs located today have age darkening on the exposed part of the base, which obscures the voltage printing. At least four types are known and identified by the physical size of the filament. These are shown on the top row of photo no 1.

Early in the 1930's it was realised that because of the confusion perceived with the white coloured bead, other colours would be needed for identification of different voltages. Also at this time the small bayonet Ba9s became available and was used on panel bulbs and in many automobiles, mainly in dashboard use. General Electric, as leaders in the field, developed a series of type numbers to identify their dial bulbs and these were: 39,40, 40A, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 49A, 50, 51, 55, 291, 292, 292A. Most of these are shown in the middle and bottom rows of photo no 1. These bulbs ranged in voltage from 2 to 6.3. It is interesting to note that US radios with 2.5 volt filament circuits are today often found with the original type 41 dial bulb replaced by a standard type 14 flashlight/torch bulb.

All bulbs from type 39 to type 49A, 291,292 and 292A have the T3&1/4 sized tubular bulb and were 30 mm in length. The 50 and 51 had the G3&1/2 diameter bulb. These two types were also available in sprayed red and sprayed green. The 55 had a G4&1/2 diameter bulb. Both the 51 and 55 had non radio use as dashboard instrument panel lights in American vehicles from the mid 1930's to the late 1960's.

Another US made panel bulb of interest is the 28 volt type 313. It had a T3&1/4 diameter bulb and was fitted with a Ba9s base. This bulb was widely used as an instrument light in aircraft and this included radio equipment. In commercial use it was widely used in music band sound systems which were made to operate on 30 volt power systems, usually in conjunction with discarded 30 volt power transformers found in older computers. A suitable resistor needed to be used because of the 2 volt difference.

General Electric was the main manufacturer of these bulbs and before 1945 they were sold with the GE Mazda brand and for export with the GE Edison brand. These two "sub" brand names were discontinued due to an antitrust court case that involved the monopoly of the lamp industry in the US, by GE. In most instances manufacturers sold the bulbs in boxes of 10 - photo no 2 - but National Union had a serviceman's box of multiples of most types.

GE also introduced the NE51 neon indicator bulb around World War Two. It had the T3&1/4 bulb and Ba9s base. It was widely used as a power indicator and to show "shorts" and "gas" in several types of tube tester.

There are 14 known manufacturers in the US of panel bulbs as well as General Electric. The main GE lamp factory was at NELA Park (National Electric Lamp Association) in Cleveland, Ohio. Some other companies made lamps alongside their tube making operations and others only made the standard range of miniature lamps, including panel/dial bulbs. These are: Arcturus Radio Tube co, Chicago Miniature Lamp Co, Eveready (National Carbon Co), Herzog Miniature Lamp Works Inc. (Sol-Rex brand), Hudson Lamp Company, Matchless Lamp and Tube Company, National Union Radio Corp, Philco (Philadelphia Storage Battery Co, Raytheon Manufacturing Co, Sylvania Products Co, Tung Sol Lamp Works, Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co. Wizard brand tubes and bulbs were sold by the Western Auto Supply Co (GE may have made the bulbs).

In the United Kingdom, Associated Electrical Industries (BTH Mazda), Atlas Lamp Works (later Thorn Industries), Lucas/Philips, GEC Osram, Rival Lamp Works and Vitality. In 1987 the Chicago Miniature Lamp Co was acquired by the newly formed VCH International. They also bought Hivac and vitality at the same time. In Australia the Electric Lamp Manufacturers Association began making small lamps at their factory in Clyde, a suburb of Newcastle. This was about 1962. Panel bulbs wre included in the limited range and had the brands Condor (a Philips subsidiary), Mazda (BTH), Osram (GEC) and Philips All these small lamps were discontinued about 1965 because of cheap Asian imports. It appears that the only panel types made were 6.2 and 6.3 volts. Philips with type numbers 8024D/N and 8045D/N have been located.

The Asian situation was quite different. Bulbs were mass produced in China, Hong Kong and Japan, right from the early 1930's. There were several companies in China, including the Hua Ta Lamp Works. Many Chinese lamps simply had the country name stamped on the base. Little has been found on any history of these. The same was true of Hong Kong. In Japan several large companies - around 20 - made panel bulbs. The main ones being the Central Bulb Co, Chiyoda Shooki, Kato Lamp Co, Kitano (Stanley brand), Riken Vacuum Industry, Shinigawa Denki and SK Suzuki. In many instances the country name and voltage was shown on the bulb bases. Asian panel bulbs were also being mass produced in so called "cottage industries". The market was flooded with cheap imports.

The main company making panel bulbs in Germany was Osram GmbH in Berlin. Early Osram panel bulbs were unique in that the filament was a loosely wound coil about 1.5 mm diameter and 4 mm long. It was horizontal to the base and not curved in an inverted "U" as was the norm. One very early Osram panel lamp has been seen with fibre insulation in the base, rather than black glass. The little known Rafa lamp Company made miniature lamps including panel bulbs. These were available in boxes of 100.

From as early as 1930 Philips in Holland made many panel bulbs and other lamps designed for radio use. The type number series for these was 8000 onwards but some have been found in the 7000's. In the early 1930's at least two bulbs were made for radio dials with the Ba15S base. One of these is the 8040. Others of this time (where almost no information exists) were the 8046, 8047, 8048, 8053 and 8054. The American series 40 - 46 (at least) were made in Holland and exported to the US. Also the 8008D, 8008N,8009D and 8009N were direct equivalents of the American 40, 46, 47 and 44. Philips also made Condor brand panel bulbs for export but it is not known what types these were, except that Condor employed the e 7000 series of type numbers for small bulbs.

In Russia the Moscow Lamp Works made panel bulbs but details of these and other manufacturers is not known. Similarly the Tungsram Company made a decent range of these bulbs. Other European countries had factories making them but also details are not known.

Radios were made with one panel or dial bulb, up to some large radios using eight bulbs to light the dial. In some instances multi band radios had separate circuits for panel bulbs so they could be switched on according to the band wave section of the panel.

With the advent of transistor radios and other developments, use of smaller bulbs became necessary and most manufacturers changed to meet these needs. Small bulbs on wire leads have given way to LED's and older panel bulbs are a thing of the past. A few companies do make replacements of older bulbs but these are mainly Chinese. Photos 3 and 4 show these types.


Franz Harder

A comprehensive listing of U.S. radio bulb models is shown here.




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GE adds the following 6 Radio Model families in 1959
Ernst Erb

I was researching data for a General Electric model P-797-D and found this helpful information to be worked into the mentioned model pages - especially the year of market introduction:

"The Billboard" in its sixty-fifth year (price 50 cents) calls itself "The amusement industry's leading Newsweekly". In its issue of January 12, 1959, beginning on page 20, it brings the following announcement: "Six Models Added to G-E Radio Line". The following is here of interest: "Heading the line is the "Cross-Country" Model P-780 with a retail price of $ 75. It has 8 transistors plus one crystal diode and features a tuned RF stage for long-range reception even in cars, planes, trains or boats. Case has chrome plated metal front grille and luggage-type folding handle, 5 1/4 inch speaker, vernier slide-rule tuning, and extra-large 9 1/2 inch ferrite rod antenna, dial light. Will play about 500 hours on one set of ordinary flashlight batteries.

Model P-776 styled in saddle-stitched ginger leather with a gold grille, has seven transistors plus one crystal diode, a 4 inch speaker, dial light, ferrite rod antenna. It provides about 400 hours of normal play and is priced $ 59.95.

Models P-770 and P-771, priced at $ 49.95, each feature seven transistors plus one diode, high impact case with retractable handle styled in antique white and mocha (P-770) or two-tone green (P-771; 4 inch speaker, dial light, 400 hours.

Models P-795 for $ 39.95 with cases of saddle stitched simulated leather with a contrasting grille in high impact plastic, are available in black and white for model P-795, blue and white for P-796 and beige and cocoa for P-797. About 200 hours of play.

A seven-transistor pocket radio, styled in ebony and white for model P-785, antique white for model P-786 or wedgewood blue and white for model P-787, priced $ 49.95. They are 6 inches long, 3 3/8 inches high and 1 3/4 inches thin, weight 16 ounces including batteries. Operates 50 hours on low-cost carbon pen-light cells or 150 hours with mercury batteries. May also be used with model P-15 leather recharger - travel case, which includes nickel-cadmium batteries which may be recharged for up to 10,000 hours of play.

The other new all-transistor pocket radio is priced at $ 29.95 and is available in antique white as model P-805 or wedgewood blue as model P-806. 5 transistors plus one diode, high impact polystyrene case, 3 1/2 inch speaker, plays 150 hours on one set of batteries.

Carried over from the 1958 line are an all-transistor pocket radio, priced at $ 39.95 in ebony model P-745, or turquoise and white as P-746 and a three-way portable radio, $ 29.95 in ebony and white as P-671 or sage green and white as P-674.

Pocket radios are equipped with earphone jacks which are available as an accessory as carrying cases are available for most models. Portable radios will be available at retail level in the early spring, with the exception of model P-780, which will be available in June.

The same issue of Billboard can be used for dating also models of other brand. Thanks to Google we can read quite many such issues. By searching with the term transistorradio and billboard and then clicking (left column) "Books" one gets about 645 results. Best is to go for years as the third term, starting at 1954 ... You can also use the manufacturer name or brand instead and leave transistorradio away.

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Broadcasting early days: the lampshade mike at WGY.
Emilio Ciardiello

The attached 1942 General Electric ad, from Electronics, May 1942, recalls the early days of broadcasting at WGY in 1922. It is fascinating the sight of the artistic lampshade mike, fully integrated with the studio decoration, to prevent the performer being worried about the presence of a microphone.
Also remarkable, in the small picture on the right, the Ford Model T radiator, with a table electric fan on the stool before, to cool the transmitting tube visible on the top.



General Electric Co. (GE); Bridgeport CT, Syracuse NY
End of forum contributions about this manufacturer/brand


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