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History of the manufacturer  

Ultimate (Brand), Radio Ltd. & Radio (1936) Ltd.; Auckland

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Name: Ultimate (Brand), Radio Ltd. & Radio (1936) Ltd.; Auckland    (NZ)  
Abbreviation: ultimate-r
Products: Model types Others
Summary:

Radio Ltd.
Strand Arcade, Auckland (1922-1925)
Commerce Buildings, Anzac Avenue, Auckland. (1925-1935)

Radio (1936) Ltd.
Quay St., Auckland (1935-1955))

 

Radio Ltd. and later Radio (1936) Ltd. were New Zealand's largest radio manufacturers. Ultimate was their main brand which was also exported to Australia.
The dates and distributors for the many Brands they manufactured are listed below.
Note: Date range from advertisements from 1935 to 1940.

Founded: 1922
Closed: 1955
Production: 1955 - 1955
History:
*DateBrandDistributorNotes
1931-1957CourierVariousPrior to 1931 see Frank Wiseman Ltd.
1933-1949CrusaderBond & Bond Ltd.After 1940 made by Collier & Beale
1932-1950Golden KnightFarmers Trading Co. Ltd. 
1933-1940HamiltonH. Nimmo & Sons Ltd. 
1945-1950Lewis EadyLewis Eady Ltd. 
1934-1942LuxorD. A. Morrison & Co. Ltd. 
1936-1949MadisonGarnet Keene Ltd. 
1932-McCabeMcCabe’s Radios 
1935-1947NationalJohn Burns & Co. Ltd.Westco manufactured from 1940
1933-1945ParamountRadio Dist. of NZ Ltd. 
1933-1950RollsStevens & Sons Ltd. 
1933-1955SkyscraperBond & Bond Ltd. 
1923-1955UltimateVariousAfter 1955 made be Ultimate-Ekco

* From newspaper adverts.

Their first radio was an Everyman crystal set imported from the Canadian Independent Telephone Company (CITCO) in Toronto. The crystal set was actually a re-badged DeForest Everyman Crystal set under the CITCO name.

300 were ordered, however shortly after the order was placed, they realised that there was no radio station in Auckland to listen to. There were stations elsewhere, but the crystal set had insufficient sensitivity to receive them. So, an urgent cable was sent to order a suitable transmitter. Pending its arrival a 15 watt, DeForest Radiophone was placed into service.  This meant that not only was Radio Ltd one of the first companies in the radio industry in NZ, but it was also the first transmitting station 1YA in Auckland. [1]

The “Ultimate” brand was introduced in 1923 when the company decided to manufacture its own receivers. Their first model was Gilfillan 2-valve kitset, RA-1. They followed with 4 to 5-valve sets with the first all-wave model in 1927.[1]
By the early 1930s the company flourished and in 1932 claimed they had over 20% of the countries production. By 1935 they had two factories in operation and production figures in that year exceeded 9,000 sets. In late 1935 they moved to a large four-story building in Quay Street. They also reorganised the company into Radio (1936) Ltd.

Between 1938 and 1941 Ultimate radios were exported to Australia (George Brown & Co.) and India. Sadly, the commencement of WW2 but an end to this export venture.

They were heavily involved in the production of military radio equipment during the war and at the end of the war, they held the position of New Zealand’s leading manufacturer.

With the advent of television, they required technical input and TV manufacturing assistance, they formed an association with British company E. K. Cole Ltd.

In 1955 the company was reorganised as Ultimate-Ecko (NZ) Co. Ltd.

This manufacturer was suggested by Stuart Irwin.


Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
NZ  33 Ultimate 514 Ch= JCL 2A7   
NZ  35 Ultimate F 58   
NZ  35 Ultimate D 34  This radio required a second 3 volt grid bias battery that floats on the AGC line. The fi... 
NZ  37 Ultimate 5B 1A4   
NZ  39 Ultimate AW7V [1939 version.] 6S7G  This model uses a synchronous vibrator power unit. 
NZ  38 Ultimate AW14 6K7  This model has two chassis. It has a volume expansion circuit. 
NZ  39 Ultimate De Luxe AW14 [1939 version.] 6K7  This set has a volume expansion control. It uses a Rola G12 speaker. 
NZ  38 Ultimate DW5 6A8G   
NZ  38 Ultimate AW7V 15  This model uses a synchronous vibrator power unit. 
NZ  44 Z.C. 1 Mk II (Mk2)   New Zealand Wireless Set Z.C.1 Mk II: Military transceiver covering 2 - 8 MHz in twoi band... 
NZ  38 Ultimate AW7 6K7   
NZ  38 Ultimate DW6 6K7G   

[rmxhdet-en]

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

Advertising their first Crystal Set in August 1922. Auckland Star 2 Aug 1922 Page 8. Image sourced from Paperpast -National Library of New Zealandtbn_nz_radioltd_auckland_star_2_aug_1922_page_8.jpg
Advertising their first Crystal Set in August 1922. Otago Times 2 Aug 1922 Page 7 Image sourced from Paperpast -National Library of New Zealandtbn_nz_radioltd_otago_times_2_aug_1922_page_7.jpg
Offering radio technical training in August 1922 Auckland Star 5 Aug 1922 Page 5. Image sourced from Paperpast -National Library of New Zealandtbn_nz_radioltd_auckland_star_5_aug_1922_page_5.jpg
Skyscraper radio advert 1932. Auckland Star 1 Oct 1932 Page 3. Image sourced from Paperpast -National Library of New Zealandtbn_nz_radioltd_auckland_star_1_oct_1932_page_3.jpg
Crusader radio advert 1934. Auckland Star 3 Mar 1934 Page 11. Image sourced from Paperpast -National Library of New Zealand.tbn_nz_radioltd_auckland_star_3_mar_1934_page_11.jpg
Ultimate advert 1928. Auckland Star 14 Dec 1928 Page 17. Image sourced from Paperpast -National Library of New Zealand.tbn_nz_radioltd_auckland_star_14_dec_1928_page_17.jpg
Hamilton Radio advert 1933. Evening Post 6 Apr 1933 Page 21. Image sourced from Paperpast -National Library of New Zealandtbn_nz_radioltd_evening_post_6_apr_1933_page_21.jpg
Luxor Radio advert 1934. Evening Post 14 Jun 1934 Page 21. Image sourced from Paperpast -National Library of New Zealand.tbn_nz_radioltd_evening_post_14_jun_1934_page_21.jpg
Madison Radio advert 1936. Northern Advocate 19 Aug 1936, Page 5. Image sourced from Paperpast-National Library of New Zealandtbn_nz_radioltd_northern_advocate_19_aug_1936_page_5.jpg
Paramount radio advert 1933. Star (Christchurch) 1 Apr 1933, Page 31. Image sourced from Paperpast -National Library of New Zealandtbn_nz_radioltd_star_christchurch_1_apr_1933_page_31.jpg
Rolls radio advert 1933. Star (Christchurch) 8 Apr 1933, Page 25. Image sourced from Paperpast -National Library of New Zealand.tbn_nz_radioltd_star_christchurch_8_apr_1933_page_25.jpg
National radio advert 1935. New Zealand Herald 11 Apr 1935 Page 19. Image sourced from Paperpast -National Library of New Zealand.tbn_nz_radioltd_new_zealand_herald_11_apr_1935_page_19.jpg
Golden Knight advert 1932. New Zealand Herald 7 Oct 1932 Page 16. Image sourced from Paperpast -National Library of New Zealand.tbn_nz_radioltd_new_zealand_herald_7_oct_1932_page_16.jpg
King Country Chronicle 12 Sep 1936, Page 6. Image sourced from Paperpast -National Library of New Zealandtbn_nz_radioltd_king_country_chronicle_12_sep_1936_page_6a.jpg
King Country Chronicle 12 Sep 1936, Page 6. Image sourced from Paperpast -National Library of New Zealandtbn_nz_radioltd_king_country_chronicle_12_sep_1936_page_6.jpg
From the Sydney Mail (NSW), June 1, 1938, Page 4.tbn_nz_radio_ltd_ultimate_aust_1938_ad.jpg
Courier advert 1932. Evening Post 4 Jun 1932, Page 5. Image sourced from Paperpast -National Library of New Zealandtbn_nz_radioltd_evening_post_4_jun_1932_page_5.jpg
Radio (1936) Ltd. label Gumtree Ad ID 1279283777tbn_nz_radioltd_raa_label.jpg

  
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