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History of the manufacturer  

Rabartron, J. Gadsden & Co Pty Ltd.; Albert Park, VIC

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Name: Rabartron, J. Gadsden & Co Pty Ltd.; Albert Park, VIC    (AUS)  
Abbreviation: rabartron
Products: Brand

J. Gadsden & Co Pty Ltd.
29 Glyde Street, Albert Park, Victoria

This company distributed tubes with the Rabartron brand in the mid 1920's. These were made for the company in the USA but the manufacturer is not known. One tube in original box has been found but the brand is not listed in Tyne or any other reference material.


Jabez Gadsden was born in Bisworth, Northamptonshire, England on November 29th, 1858. At the age of 12 he was employed as a leather worker in a boot makers business. In 1879 he migrated to Australia, settling in Melbourne and soon found work in the boot making trade. He often worked at home making hessian and calico bags, when his children were young. In 1884 he was made a partner in the business. He began experimenting with printing on tin plate and in 1896 he imported a flatbed lithogrph press from England.

Jabez had a long and rewarding business career which included the development and manufacture of various food tins which were evolving elsewhere at the time. He made many overseas trips and his career was wide ranging. He saw the need for employing a fair number of his family members in his business activities. The company expanded to other Australian states and also to New Zealand. The company was thriving in 1986. Jabez died in 1936. (The foregoing is from "Gadsdens the first hundred years".)

It  is not recorded in the history what other interests the company was involved in. These, however, must have been substantial and even extended to the sale of American made radio tubes in the mid 1920's. A "Rabartron" brand tube in its original box has recently been located, with "distributed by J. Gadsden Ltd." on the box. The tube is a type 199 with large UV base. No record has been located in the US relating to the brand name and it is not known which company made the tube.  

This manufacturer was suggested by Fin Stewart.