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History of the manufacturer  

Mullard Wireless, London (see also Mullard Radio Valve)

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Name: Mullard Wireless, London (see also Mullard Radio Valve)    (GB)  
Abbreviation: mullard

Mullard Wireless Service Co.Ltd., Mullard House, Charing Cross Rd., London WC2;

Mullard; GB: Vertretung Schweiz: Seyffer & Co. AG; Zürich 4 . Adresse im Oktober 1928: Denmark Street, London, W.C.2

Founded: 1920
Mullard was founded in 1920 by Captain Stanley R. Mullard. Mullard formed a partnership with the Dutch manufacturer Philips. Mullard sold all its shares to Philips in 1927. Philips continued to use the brand name "Mullard" in the UK until 1988. The company produced components including valves & transistors, as well as products such as radios & television sets. Many Philips sets were produced in the UK using the Mullard name.

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
GB  48 MAS221 ECH35   
GB  48 MAS292 EF39  Dial lamps: 2x 6,3V/0,32A. 
GB  48 MAS305 ECH21  Pultskala 
GB  50 MTS501 unknown_Tube  12" 405 line TV with GB VHF Tuner. 
GB  48 MUS-227 UCH21   
GB  48 MAS-231 EF39   
GB  48 MAS-238 ECH35   
GB  34 MB3 VP2  Mullard´s first complete factory built receiver. Also Model MB3A in upright cabinet (1935). 
GB  35 MB3A (MB3 A - MB 3A) VP2  Upright version of MB3. 
GB  35 MU35 FC13  Mullards first mains receiver. 
GB  35 MB4 VP2   
GB  36 MAS4 FC4  The AC/DC version of this model is the MUS4. This set is a Mullard version of the Phili... 


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

Original advertising from magazin:"PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI". Date: October 31, 1928.tbn_gb_mullard_28_ad.jpg
Von einem Bauteil aus einer 1927-er Truhetbn_gb_mullard_logo.jpg
Prospekt 1938-9 Seite 1tbn_uk_mullard_prospekt_1938_9.jpg
Stanley Mullard obituary Electronics Australia February 1980.tbn_stanley_mullard_passing_ea2_80.jpg

Forum contributions about this manufacturer/brand
Mullard Wireless, London (see also Mullard Radio Valve)
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Obituary; Stanley Robert Mullard MBE (MIL) (1883-1979)
Gary Cowans

Obituary; Stanley Robert Mullard MBE (MIL) (1883-1979)

Extracted from Practical Wireless December 1979, Page 27.

Stanley Robert Mullard, one of the pioneers of the UK radio industry, died in a Sussex nursing home on September 1, at the age of 95.

He was born on 1 November 1883 and, after attending a local school and the Borough Polytechnic, joined a firm of electric lamp manufacturers. He continued his studies at the Northampton Institute (now the City University) and became a student member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1903. His employers appointed him a director of the company when he was only 24.

Later he joined the Ediswan Company. In 1915, while working in the lamp research laboratory, he developed the "Pointolite" arc lamp which was used in projection apparatus for over 40 years.

At the start of the First World War Mullard enlisted in the Engineers' Battalion of the Royal Naval Reserve but continued his work with Ediswan at the Admiralty's request. His interests now extended to radio valves. His wide knowledge of glass technology and vacuum techniques enabled him to make valuable contributions to the fast-growing use of valves in military radio equipment.

 In 1916 he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, posted to the Royal Naval Air Service, and put in charge of a special valve laboratory at Imperial College, London. He also attended meetings at the HM Signal School, Portsmouth, to assist with the design and production of high-power transmitting valves. It was largely due to his participation that the manufacture of silica types became practicable and by the end of 1919 there was a pressing demand for them for Naval purposes.

It was on the strength of an order for 250 valves that he was able to raise the capital required to form the Mullard Radio Valve Company in September 1920. Although this company was started primarily to make high-power transmitting valves, it quickly became involved with the production of smaller types. Public interest in "wireless" was quickening. Many ex-army signallers obtained licences to operate low-power transmitters and were also building their own receivers. Public broadcasting had not yet commenced, but it was possible to pick up private and commercial transmissions from Hilversum, Paris, and Berlin.

The start of a public service brought a great demand for reliable valves and, appreciating the enormous potential, Mullard turned over part of his limited manufacturing facilities to the production of small receiving types. They were sold under the trade name ORA, signifying the valve's three main functions: to Oscillate, Rectify, and Amplify. Output quickly rose to thousands a week. Demand soon out-stripped manufacturing capacity and larger premises were acquired. These, too, became inadequate when the BBC opened its London transmitter, 2L0, and in 1923 Mullard moved again, this time to Nightingale Lane, Balham.
By the end of 1924 production had reached 2.5 million a year and by demonstrating that reliable valves could be made cheaply Mullard helped materially to lay the foundations of the British radio industry.

By this time the commercial side of Mullard's activities had become important and he established a second company, the Mullard Wireless Service Co., to handle marketing and distribution. From its London headquarters, it published a magazine, Radio for the Million, which made an immediate impact. It appeared quarterly for the next two years and sold millions of copies.

 In 1927, with the continuing increase in valve demand, production was moved to a still larger factory at Mitcham, Surrey. This remains one of the company's manufacturing plants, turning out more sophisticated components, but still handling the production and repair of high-power silica valves.

Impending developments in valve technology began to call for research facilities beyond the scope of a company so young as Mullard's. This demand led to the establishment in 1924 of close links with N.V. Philips of Holland and over the next few years, Philips acquired all the shares of the company.

 In 1929 Mullard resigned as managing director, but continued as a director, actively interesting himself in the company's affairs until its golden jubilee celebrations in 1970.

Stanley Mullard lived to see the small venture he founded grow to an organisation employing more than 11,000 people and occupying a leading place in the world's electronics industry.


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Our Founder, S. R. Mullard, Celebrates 80th Birthday.
Gary Cowans

Our Founder, S. R. Mullard, Celebrates 80th Birthday.

Extracted from Mullard Outlook Australian Edition Vol. 6, No. 5 November December 1963.

Although retired for some years Stanley Mullard has remained a Director of the Company. He was born in London on November 1st, 1883, the third of five children, the family was not well off. His father was works-manager of a small chemical manufacturing firm and his salary left little to pay for an elaborate education for the children. At 15, after only a basic schooling and a year at a polytechnic institute, the young Mullard was apprenticed to a firm of electrical engineers, his wage 10/- for a 56-hour week.
During his five-year apprenticeship, he attended evening classes at the Royal Institution the City & Guilds of London Institute, the Institution of Electrical Engineers, and various technical colleges. This training and study would have led him to a career in electrical engineering, “But”, he says, “When I learned that a qualified shift engineer at a power station earned 7d an hour I began to have second thoughts”.

Early Experience with Electrical Lamp Production

He asked for and was given a transfer to another branch of the firm concerned with the manufacture of electric lamps and X-ray tubes. He believes that it was this move that really led to the formation of the Mullard company, for it was from this early work on lamps and X-ray tubes that his interest in radio valves stemmed. At the outbreak of World War1 he was head of the Ediswan lamp laboratories and enlisted in the Engineers Battalion of the Royal Naval Division, by Admiralty instructions he remained at Ediswan to continue his technical work. His interest now extended to wireless valves, a field in which his knowledge of vacuum techniques gained in the lamp laboratories enabled him to make important contributions to the fast-growing military use, as it was then known —wireless communication. He later saw service in France and earned a Mention in Despatches and military M.B.E.

The Beginning

In 1920 the Admiralty asked him to manufacture valves and, lacking funds, he asked them for a contract to obtain financial backing and was given a firm order for 250 silica envelope transmitting valves at £66 each, the first Mullard order.

His backers were an odd assortment; two had connections with the radio industry, the others were respectively a bacon producer and a firm of East India merchants, and so in September 1920 was formed the first company to bear his name, The Mullard Wireless Valve Company.

Receiving Valves

With a growing interest in experimental broadcasting and the need for smaller valves he set about developing and manufacturing receiving valves, one type the ORA the initials signifying the three main functions: oscillate, rectify, and amplify. These had a ready market and were superior to the imported valves at the time and in demonstrating that reliable valves could be made cheaply, he materially helped to lay the foundations of the British radio industry.

A temporary litigation setback occurred in 1922 when Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Co. Ltd. issued writs against The Mullard Wireless Valve Company alleging infringement of two of their patents, Mullard defence was that one of the patents could not be valid because the design of the valve was based on a principle published earlier in a German paper, the Marconi witness claiming that if the valve were constructed as shown in the paper it would never work. The Court adjourned for the day, Mullard rushed back to the works and made a few sample valves, in fact, 20, lashed one into a receiver and took it to court the next day and the Marconi witness had the disconcerting experience of listening to a broadcast from Paris through a valve he claimed would never work.

Foundation of Applications Engineering

 In 1924, the demand for his valves was such that he was forced to give more attention to commercial activities and formed a second company The Mullard Wireless Service Company to handle distribution and marketing. That his title contained the word “service” was no accident. Then, as now, service, whether to the set manufacturer, the dealer, or the public, ranked high in the company’s battle order. Then, as now, the salesmen were backed by an equally strong cadre of technical people who were interested not so much in selling a valve as in helping the buyer to get the best results from it.


In 1929 he decided reluctantly to relinquish the leadership of the company and was succeeded by Mr. S. S. Eriks, for his health had been in question since 1926 when, after a serious breakdown, his doctors warned him to ease up. “They told me, “He said recently, “that unless I did so I would be forced to give up all activity. But that was thirty-seven years ago, and I hope that by now I have satisfied them of their error.”

Now under the new leadership, the company continued its growth, in 1938 established its main valve factory at Blackburn in Lancashire, this factory also produced the glass and fine wire used in valve manufacture: the labour demand relieving the unemployment caused by the decline in the cotton trade. Two years later the factory was making a considerable contribution to the war effort. In post-war years (World War 2) the Mullard Research Laboratory was set up in Surrey, new valve and semiconductor factories and a new picture tube factory at Simonstone, Lancashire, the latter unique in the world in that it also produces its own glass. Today our companies have 18 factories in England and employ nearly 20,000: 40% of the production being exported.

Blackburn Birthday Function

The “Lancashire Evening Telegraph”, Tuesday, November 19th, 1963, records the function to mark his 80th birthday
“PIONEER AT THE EXCITING BIRTH OF AN INDUSTRY. Many people who said ‘We never knew there was a Mr. Mullard’ had the surprising and happy experience of meeting him today, an erect, still-sturdy figure, rather bald but with a neatly trimmed moustache, horn-rimmed glasses, and a rather debonair manner. At one stage of the proceedings, he apologised for being a little forgetful’ but most people present during the five-hour celebrations had nothing but admiration for the way in which he carried himself alertly, answered the speeches made in his honour and humbly gave credit to those who have helped in the industry he pioneered.

“A little of Mr. Mullard’s exciting story was told to the large gathering of civic and industrial representatives in the Windsor Hall, where a champagne toast was proposed to him by Mr. S. S. Eriks, who succeeded Mr. Mullard as leader of the organisation in 1929.”

As his 80th birthday coincided with the 500th million Mullard Valve, a golden replica of this historic valve was presented to him. A feature of the gathering was an enormous birthday cake with 80 valves as candles and Mr. Mullard asked that the Mayor of Blackburn accept the very substantial first layer of the cake for distribution amongst deserving Blackburn townspeople.

Stanley Mullard has survived to see the company he formed 43 years ago grow to occupy a leading position in the electronics industry. His retirement has been far from inactive, he has continued to participate in company affairs, albeit infrequently, and since 1945 has interested himself in new developments in horticulture, a subject in which he is now a recognised authority. He has a son and three daughters and lives near Egham, Surrey.

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Manufacturing of tubes in the Mullard Blackburn Factory
Vincent de Franco

This film of the early sixties shows the manufacturing of tubes in the Blackburn Factory of Mullard.

Film duration is around 30 minutes. Link to the film on YouTube.

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Manufacturing of the A63-11X Color CRT by Mullard
Vincent de Franco

The following film shows with great details the manufacturing by Mullard of the A63-11X Color Picture Tube.

Film duration is around 20 minutes.

Link to the Part 1 on YouTube

Link to the Part 2 on YouTube


Mullard Wireless, London (see also Mullard Radio Valve)
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