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History of the manufacturer  

Thom & Smith Pty. Ltd.(Tasma);Mascot, NSW

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Name: Thom & Smith Pty. Ltd.(Tasma);Mascot, NSW    (AUS)  
Abbreviation: thomand-sm
Products: Model types

Thom & Smith Pty. Ltd.
Nicholson Street, East Sydney (Woolloomooloo) NSW (1929-1931)
55-57 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo, NSW (1931–1936)
29-39 Botany Road, Mascot, NSW (1936-1957)
919 Botany Road, Mascot, NSW (1940-1956)

Brands: Tasma, Tasma-Ford (car radios), President Tasma, President-Motorola, Pope-Motorola.

The company manufactured radios from 1929 from a small factory in East Sydney. From 1931 they manufactured under the “Tasma” brand with the logo “Detail Built Radio”. The company flourished until WW2 when they manufactured for the war effort. After the war they suffered financial trouble and was sold to the Pope Group in 1957.

Founded: 1929
Closed: 1957
Production: 1929 - 1957

Tasma was formed on December 19, 1929 by two ex-employees of Stromberg Carlson Australia; Fred William Parkes Thom (1904- 2000), John Edwin Smith in a small factory in Nicholson Street, East Sydney (Woolloomooloo). There first employee was George Woodward, a tool-maker from Stromberg Carlson.

The built and sold 3-4 Valve TRF mantle and console radio sets. They progressed to make larger, more up-to-date models selling these as chassis throughout the trade as the “Economy” series. In 1931 they called these the “Tasma” series, which became their registered trade mark for all receivers.

Their policy of giving good value for money meant rapid progress and in October 26, 1931 they moved to a larger building at 55-57 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo.

In the latter part of 1932 they decided through advertising and a consistent marketing policy to promote the brand “Tasma” throughout Australasia. They distributed their receivers through a large country and metropolitan dealer organisation, represented in every state and New Zealand. [1]

Thom was accepted as a foundation member of the IRE in 1932 a fellow in 1940 and life membership of the IEEE (USA).[2]

The company was registered in April, 1933[3]

The venture was successful and by 1938 the company had about 600 active dealers across Australia.[2]

In 1936 they moved to a larger factory at 29-39 Botany Road, Mascot.

During 1938 they supplied all NSW Police vehicles with Tasma Receivers and Ford Motor Company Australia placed a contract for the manufacturer and supply of car radios for Ford vehicles. The radios were branded “Tasma-Ford”.[4] 

Tasma also diversified into other electrical products, for example, PMG type 3000 relays for telephone exchanges.

During World War Two Tasma manufactured transmitters and radar sets, and also 100 million plastic bullet tip cores for 303 ammunition, as well as many other mass produced items.

The requirements of the military during WWII and the Korean War with low, Government regulated profit margins took a great toll on Tasma and they suffered appalling losses.[2]

To raise funds and prepare for Television they converted to a Public Company in August 1948.[5]

By 1952/3 with heavy competition and industrial relations problems the company was having further liquidity problems.

In July 1954 it merged with President Consolidated Ltd., a refrigerator manufacturer with F.W.P . Thom as Managing Director.[6]

The brand became “President-Tasma” at this time and was advertised as the Electronics Division of President Consolidated Ltd.  In May 1955, Thom and Smith Pty. Ltd., as a division of Consolidated Ltd., negotiated with Motorola USA to manufacture television sets and other Motorola products under License with only 10% of the components imported. The brand became “President-Motorola”. They expected a large demand for Television sets in Australia.[7]

Just as this was happening (1956) President Consolidated folded, exposing Thom and Smith as a valuable asset.

Thom and Smith Pty. Ltd., was then sold to the Pope Group, the brand changing to “Pope-Motorola”, and subsequently the company changed name to Pope Electronics Pty. Ltd.

After the sale, Fred Thom left the company and started a business called Thom Electronics across the road from his own factory which was later sold to James N Kirby Limited. Under the Kirby ownership, Thom Electronics manufactured televisions carrying the “Crosley” brand. General Electric then bought Thom Electronics off Kirby's and then wound up the business as pressure from imports started to take hold.[2]

Sadly, no televisions ever carried the “Tasma” brand.

[1] Wireless Weekly, March 23, 1934, Page 26.
[2] When I Think Back, Neville Williams, Electronics Australia, October, 1992.
[3] The Sun (NSW) Apr 7, 1933, Page 10.
[4] The Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW) Jun 2, 1938, Page 13.
[5] The Sun (NSW)   Aug 31, 1948, Page 14.
[6] The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW) Jul 2, 1954, Page 6.
[7] The Argus (Vic.) May 21, 1955, Page 1

This manufacturer was suggested by Peter Hughes.

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
AUS  32 100 (M100) 224A  I.F. not known. 
AUS  32 125 (M125) 32   
AUS  34 Carlyle 135 57  See also version in standard cabinet & Chevron. 
AUS  34 Chevron 135 57  See also version in standard cabinet. 
AUS  35 Carlyle 190 (M190) 77  See also Chevron version with same chassis. 
AUS  39 Police Dog Receiver [Experimental] 1A7G  This receiver was specially built by Tasma for the Police Carnival on February 25, 1939 to... 
AUS  37 465 [Combination] 6D6   
AUS  37 450 [Combination] EK2   
AUS  52–55 Army Wireless Set No. 128 Mk II 1T4  9 Valve Military Backpack Transceiver. An updated version of the Wireless Set No.128 ma... 
AUS  37 465 6D6  See also Genalex version, Model BC465. 
AUS  43 HF Receiver AR21   Fixed frequency receiver, tuneable internally only. Frequency range with plug in coils,... 
AUS  43 VHF Transmitter AT17   Used by the Royal Australian Airforce as a mobile and static ground station. Power outp... 


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

[1] Wireless Weekly, March 23, 1934, Page 26.tbn_aus_thomand_sm_1_wireless_weekly_mar_23_1934_page_26.jpg
[3] Company Registered. The Sun (NSW) Apr 7, 1933, Page 10.tbn_aus_thoman_sm_3_the_sun_nsw_apr_7_1933_page_10.jpg
[4] The Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW) Jun 2, 1938, Page 13.tbn_aus_thomand_sm_4_the_maitland_daily_mercury_nsw_jun_2_1938_page_13.jpg
[5] Converted to a Public Company in August 1948. The Sun (NSW) Aug 31, 1948, Page 14.tbn_aus_thomand_sm_5_the_sun_nsw_aug_31_1948_page_14.jpg
[6] In July 1954 it merged with President Consolidated Ltd. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW) Jul 2, 1954, Page 6.tbn_aus_thomand_sm_6_the_sydney_morning_herald_nsw_jul_2_1954_page_6.jpg
[7] Negotiated with Motorola USA to manufacture television sets. The Argus (Vic.) May 21, 1955, Page 1tbn_aus_thomand_sm_7_the_argus_vic._may_21_1955_page_18.jpg
"Detail Built" Radio Advert. Radio Trade Annual 1933, Page 9.tbn_aus_thomand_sm_rta_1933_page9.jpg
Aus_ thomand-sm_Radio Trade Annual 1934, Page 5.tbn_aus_thomand_sm_radio_trade_annual_1934_page_5.jpg
Aus_ thomand-sm_Radio Trade Annual 1937, Page 6.tbn_aus_thomand_sm_radio_trade_annual_1937_page_6.jpg
Radio Trade Annual 1938, Page 3tbn_aus_thomand_sm_radio_trade_annual_1938_page_3.jpg
Australian Telecommunications At War,special issue Radio Electrical Retailer, Vol. XXIII No. 16 May 2 1946tbn_aus_thomand_sm_telecom_at_war.jpg
Advertisement from the Radio & Electrical Merchant, May 18, 1934.tbn_aus_tasma_ad_1934.jpg
Advertising Tasma Short Wave Radios in 1940. The Sun (NSW) Apr 11, 1940 Page 1.tbn_aus_thomand_sm_the_sun_nsw_apr_11_1940_page_1.jpg
1939 advert for 4 Tasma radios. Daily Advertiser (NSW) 6 May 1939 Page 3.tbn_aus_tasma_daily_advertiser_nsw_6_may_1939_p3_1939.jpg
As advertised in "west Australian Wireless News" June 1, 1934tbn_aus_tasma_advert_1934.jpg