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History of the manufacturer  

Westinghouse for Brand RCA-Radiotron

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Name: Westinghouse for Brand RCA-Radiotron    (USA)  
Abbreviation: westin-rca
Products: Tube manufacturer

See also Westinghouse Lamp Company, USA. This second entry is made to show the true designing company and manufacturer company in the 1920s for their common tube brand RCA or RCA Radiotron. In 1930 the situation changed and RCA was producing tubes, but not before!


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".

Tyne: The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was founded by GE and American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) in 1919 to further international radio. It was actually forced by the US Navy to get independant from British Marconi Companies. On November 20, 1919, the American Marconi Company was officially merged with the RCA. (Tyne 308)

The first tubes shipped to RCA were the UV200 and UV201, designed and manufactured by GE. RCA announced them November 1920 for amateur and experimental use only. (Tyn2 209)

Tyne page 310: "Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company" (W.E.&M.) with its subsidary "Westinghouse Lamp Company" joined the RCA consortium in June 1921 and contracted to make tubes for RCA. Cross licensing was concluded June 30, 1921.

Westinghouse had earlier engaged in tube development and was familiar with the techniques of manufacture. Records show that the first shipment from W. E. & M. Co., WD11 tubes, was received by RCA in January 1922; The second shipment from the same source, WR21 tubes, was received in February.

RCA also received a shipment of UV201 tubes in April 1922 from Westinghouse Lamp Company. this because the demand was so high for that tube. But the UV201 tubes from the two Westinghouse plants were not similar in appearance or characteristics. Thus we mark thenm with Westinghouse (underliny type).

During 1920 the Harrison Works of General Electric by accident used some tungsten filament wire which contained thoria for the manufacture of UV201 tubes. They showed much better emission, even with less temperature. For general use the first thoriated filament tubes were the UV199 and UV201A

This is just a short description to show that there are some types designed and made be GE, some designed and manufactured by Westinghouse and a few were manufactured by both companies. All early tubes were not manufactured by RCA but stamped for RCA and sold by RCA for the market. We will in the future try to bring in the story about each of those tubes of the 1920s and to distinguish for tube friends who designed them and made them for RCA - and then use this selection or the one for Westinghouse for Brand RCA-Radiotron.

RCA was formed as an operating company for ship-to-shore and transoceanic communication and had not manufacturing facilities. This changed in 1930 by forming the RCA Radiotron, Inc.


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