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History of the manufacturer  

McCandless & Co, H.W.; New York City, NY

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Name: McCandless & Co, H.W.; New York City, NY    (USA)  
Abbreviation: mccandless
Products: Tube manufacturer

H. W. McCandless & Co
27th Street, New York City, New York

No actual manufacturers tube brand name.

Individual tube types were identified by various processes in manufacturing procedure. (see History)

Founded: 1895
Closed: 1914
Production: 1905 - 1916

Henry Wallace McCandless was born in Orion, Illinois in 1866. He graduated from Illinois University in 1890 and there had studied mechanical engineering. He found employment wit the Thomson-Houston Electric Co in Chicago and was initially a draftsman. Later that year he was in the Estimating Department. The following year he was transferred to the General Electric in Schenectady, New York. He was given the task of Estimator during the Edison and Thomson-Houston merger. (The Edison General Electric company. The name Edison was dropped in 1892). In 1895, he left GE and bought the failed Jaeger Incandescent Lamp Company of 27th Street, New York City at an auction. This included the building, plant and machinery and he also tracked down and bought some more plant that had been sold to a junk dealer before the auction.

Having no knowledge of lamp making, McCandless employed Herman Jaeger to assist. This did not work out and Jaeger was fired, to be replaced by an engineer from Thomson-Houston. Things began looking up and before long, McCandless established a reputation for good quality custom made lamps. These were mainly of the Christmas tree types. An early 1900's catalogue shows that the company was involved with "Empire" brand lamps, electrical novelties, fittings, lamp shades, cigar lighters, clocks and other products. In 1905, Lee de Forest of the de Forest Radio Telephone Company had been considering the Fleming Diode valve invention by J. Fleming (in England) and one of his assistants, C. D. Babcock, took a Fleming valve to McCandless to se if it would be possible to have some copies made. The resultant tube was small, having an "S8" (one inch diameter) glass bulb and it was fitted with an Edison E12 screw base. The anode came through the glass adjacent to the exhaust tip. This was the first type of tube which was made for de Forest by McCandless and was referred to as the two electrode Audion.

Over the next eleven years, de Forest designed sixteen identified Audion tubes and they were all made by McCandless. While McCandless was the manufacturer, de Forest was not involved with the process and as no mechanical direction was required, deferred to McCandless to produce suitable tube samples. The next five tubes (of a total of 15) were made with tubular "T8" one inch diameter bulbs, a style of glass McCandless preferred not to use. In 1908, the bulb shape was changed to the spherical G16 & 1/2 size. This was the common size used at the factory and most lamp manufacturers for the new electric automotive headlights. From 1908 to 1916 nine different Audions of this style were made. None of these tubes had a type number as such but were for identified mainly by their particular manufacturing style. To simplify this for the tube researcher, it has been necessary to create an identification number for each of these tubes. Thus we have: Audion_01-two-electrode; Audion_02-electrostatic; through to Audion_15.

In 1912 McCandless expanded his interests to a large four story building at 67-69 Park Place New York. In February 1914, Walter G Hudson, a customer of McCandless, developed a process of winding a fine tantalum wire around the filament. This was subject of a patent (no 1190412) granted in July 1914. This became known as the Hudson Filament and was used on many Audions, with the patent rights being assigned to de Forest. An improvement on the wire was soon to follow with this being replaced by tantalum paste. Late in 1914 McCandless sold the business to the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company. They had no interest in the tube side of the works but allowed him to continue making Audions for de Forest into 1916. Westinghouse employed McCandless as an advisor on miniature lamp products. He retired in 1935 and passed away on December 24th, 1957.

This manufacturer was suggested by Fin Stewart.