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History of the manufacturer  

Marathon (tubes), Radio-Marathon, N.V. Rave; Amsterdam, Eindhoven

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Name: Marathon (tubes), Radio-Marathon, N.V. Rave; Amsterdam, Eindhoven    (NL)  
Abbreviation: marathon-n
Products: Tube manufacturer

NV Radio Marathon
Keizersgracht 802, Amsterdam

NV Rave (from 1934)
Elisabethlaan, Eindhoven (1939)

Tube brand: Marathon

There was also a Marathon tube brand in the USA.

Founded: 1932
Closed: 1959

The brand Marathon the Netherlands was created by Tungsram and Radio Record when Philips started patent violation lawsuites against both companies. For some years, Marathon sold their tubes at  dumping prices to compete. The matter was settled out of court and the brand disappeared from the market around 1935.


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Marathon (tubes), Radio-Marathon, N.V. Rave; Amsterdam, Eindhoven
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History of Marathon, the Netherlands
Peter den Boer


NV Radio Marathon

Renamed October 1934: N.V. Rave.

Keizersgracht 802


Moved October 1939 to  Elisabethlaan at Eindhoven (Philips).

Alexander and Bernard Cohen, merchants in Amsterdam, founded the N.V. Radio Marathon on 6-11-1932.  They started an intensive advertising campaign using the slogan “cheap, reliable and guaranteed”. That campaign lasted until the end of 1934.

In October 1934 was the name of the company changed into N.V. Rave, which became the sales office for Tungsram, Radio Record and Marathon tubes. From that time on is it clear that Tungsram/ Radio Record were the driving force behind the Marathon tubes.

In October 1939 N.V. Rave  moved to the Elisabethstraat at Eindhoven and was a subsidiary of Philips. Philips used this company as a trading company until it was closed on 1-4-1959. The link between Philips and N.V. Rave was not known in this period.

What had happened?

Tungsram participated in Radio Record (N.V. Radium at Tilburg) from 1930 on and Radio Record became a subsidiary of Tungsram on 1-1-1935.

Tungsram/Radio Record came under attack from Philips and Telefunken in the early 1930’s. Law suits were made against Tungsram/Radio Record for patent violations.

Besides that, Philips was in war with all the other Dutch radio manufacturers. Philips had made its first radio in 1927, had a lot of tube patents and a lot of patents concerning the application of tubes. Also Philips could use General Electric and RCA patents on the Dutch market as a result of an agreement with those companies. At the end of 1929 Philips let the other Dutch radio manufacturers know that they had to accept a Philips licence. The conditions of this licence were severe. Only Philips tubes could be used, a licence fee should be paid per tube and Philips determined per manufacturer how many sets they could produce. These conditions caused an uprising amongst these manufacturers and some law suits were issued against a number of radio manufacturers. Tungsram/Radio Record supported these manufacturers, because if Philips got its way, then their tubes could not be used in radio sets.

But Tungsram/Radio Record did not rely on Court orders. They brought the fight for survival to the market with brands like Marathon (in the Netherlands) and other brands elsewhere.

As for the Dutch radio manufacturers, the fight ended in 1934 in favour of Philips. As for Tungsram/Radio Record there must have been an agreement with Philips somewhere in 1935 because the Marathon tubes disappeared from the market and Tungsram/Radio Record accepted the Tungsram/ Radio Record brand on its home market.  

Marathon (tubes), Radio-Marathon, N.V. Rave; Amsterdam, Eindhoven
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