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History of the manufacturer  

Homecrafts Pty. Ltd., (Capitol); Melbourne, VIC

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Name: Homecrafts Pty. Ltd., (Capitol); Melbourne, VIC    (AUS)  
Abbreviation: homecraft
Products: Model types

Homecrafts Pty. Ltd.
211 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria.  (1918 -     )
290 Lonsdale  Street, South Melbourne, Victoria.  (1938 -   )
100- 102 Clarence Street, Sydney, NSW. (1941 –      )

Brand: Capitol


Homecrafts started as a mechanical, electrical goods shop in Melbourne in 1918 and progressed to radio parts from 1923. They supplied radio constructors with advice and parts. In 1926 the firm was bought by Louis Abrahams & Arthur Warner of Louis Coen Wireless. In 1939 Electronic Industries Ltd., a holding company, consolidated all of Abrahams &  Warners business concerns under the one organisation with Homecrafts operating as an active subsidary. In 1970 E.I.L. including its subsidaries was taken over by Philips Australia. Homecrafts continued as a subsidary of Philips Holdings retailing electrical & whitegoods until 1988.

Founded: 1918
Closed: 1988
Production: 1923 - 1970

P. H. Mc Elroy the founder of Homecrafts started in the hobby business in March 1902 as an Engineer and Importer selling electrical parts for students and amateurs from 162 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.[11]

Mc Elroy’s adverts always encouraged the hobbyists and he always produced an informative, illustrated catalogue of his products.  With the advent of radio in 1923 his catalogue featured 130 pages featuring 400 illustrations and 50 wireless diagrams and sold for sixpence.[2]

He retired in 1926 and went on to be appointed as Commissioner for Scouting in 1928.

“The Homecraft Shop” opened at 211-213 Swanston Street, Melbourne in December 1918 when P. H. Mc Elroy relocated his mechanical and electrical hobbies retailing business from 265 Swanston Street, Melbourne.[1]

The shop advertised everything for the amateur and experimenter and by 1924 was heavily involved in radio and advertised as “everything from a switch point to a complete 8 valve set”. [2]

Mc Elroy (Homecrafts) were listed as an AWA radio dealer in August 1925.[3]

In December 1925 McElroy retired.[5]

The firm was bought by the partnership of Louis Abrahams & Arthur Warner of Louis Coen Wirelesswith the aim of expanding their retail arm. [7] A new company under the name of Homecrafts Pty, Ltd was formed in August 1926, the registered office at 211 Swanston St, Melbourne with Henry Hamilton Haynes & George Wright named as subscribers to the memorandum. [4] (a person under the name of G. Wright was also named in 1928 as a subscriber to another Abahams & Warner company, Neutrodyne Pty, Ltd).

 By July 1927 the company was advertising imported Crosley and Australian Astor radios. [6]

In April 1939 Abrahams & Warner formed Electronic Industries Ltd. (EIL) as a holding company to consolidate all their various business concerns under the one organisation. E.I.L. had a controlling interest of 86% in Homecrafts.[8] Homecrafts remained an active subsidary under E.I.L.

The Managing Director from 1940 was Sladen Gibson followed by Frank Lynch in 1950.

A branch was opened in Sydney when the company merged with Lamplough Radio and traded from Clarence Street, Sydney,[9]  By 1946 the company had expanded to cover all Australian States with the exception of WA.[10]

By the 1960's Homecrafts were concentrating less on radio parts & more on the retail of household electrical & whitegoods.

In 1970 Philips Australia took over E.I.L. & its subsidaries. Along with Astor & other surviving E.I.L. companies Homecrafts as a retailer continued to function as a active subsidary under Philips Holdings. [12]

In 1986 there were 13 Homecrafts stores in the Melbourne metro area. By 1987 seven stores remained & the last three stores, Broadmeadows, Chirnside Park & Frankston finally closed in 1988. [13]

[1] The Age (Vic.) Dec 14, 1918, Page 12.
[2] WIA Souvenir Program, Pages 4 & 5.
[3] The Herald (Vic.) Aug 24, 1925, Page 5.
[4] The Herald (Vic.) 26, Aug 1926, Page 30.
[5] The Herald (Vic.) Dec 1926, Page 7.
[6] The Herald (Vic.) Jul 6, 1927, Page 4.
[7] E.I.L. company document: "The genesis of E.I.L."
[8] The Daily Telegraph (NSW) May 31, 1939, Page 13.
[9] Radio & Hobbies, Apr 1941, Page 41.
[10] Australasian Radio World, Jun 15, 1946 Page 3.
[11] Leader (Vic.) Mar 1, 1902, Page 2. 
[12] Philips company document: organisation structure 1981.
[13] Melbourne White pages.   

This manufacturer was suggested by Stuart Irwin.

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
AUS  34 Capitol 7 in 4 [Console] 1A6   
AUS  34 Capitol 5 in 3 [Console] 32   
AUS  34 Capitol 5 in 3 [Table] 32   
AUS  34 Capitol 7 in 4 [Table] 1A6   
AUS  34/35 Capitol 535    
AUS  27 Elroy Crystal Set   "Elroy" Crystal set named after Homecrafts founder, P.H. Elroy. 


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

[1] “The Homecraft Shop” opened 1918. The Age (Vic.) Dec 14, 1918, Page 12.tbn_aus_homecraft_1_the_age_vic._dec_14_1918_page_12.jpg
[2] Mc Elroy's catalogue advert. WIA Souvenir Program, Pages 4 & 5.tbn_aus_homecraft_2_wia_souvenir_prog_1924_p4_5.jpg
[3] Selling AWA radios in 1925. The Herald (Vic.) Aug 24, 1925, Page 5.tbn_aus_homecraft_3_the_herald_vic._aug_24_1925_page_5.jpg
[4] Homecrafts Register in 1926. The Herald (Vic.) 26, Aug 1926, Page 30.tbn_aus_homecraft_4_the_herald_vic._26_aug_1926_page_30.jpg
[5] Mc Elroy retired in December 1926. The Herald (Vic.) Dec 1926, Page 7.tbn_aus_homecrafts_5_the_herald_vic._dec_1926_page_7.jpg
[6] Selling Crosley & Astor radios in 1927. The Herald (Vic.) Jul 6, 1927, Page 4.tbn_aus_homecraft_6_the_herald_vic._jul_6_1927_page_4.jpg
Wholesale agents for Astor in 1936. Wireless Weekly Oct 16. 1936, Page 5.tbn_aus_homecraft_7_ww_oct_16._1936_p5_page_2.jpg
[8] EIL take an 86% share in Homecrafts. The Daily Telegraph (NSW) May 31, 1939, Page 13.tbn_aus_homecraft_8_the_daily_telegraph_nsw_may_31_1939_page_13.jpg
[9] The company merged with Lamplough Radio in 1941. Radio & Hobbies, Apr 1941, Page 41.tbn_aus_homecrafts_9_r_h_apr_1941_p_41.jpg
[10] Branches in 5 states of Australia in 1946. Australasian Radio World, Jun 15, 1946 Page 3.tbn_aus_homecrafts_10_australasian_radio_world_jun_15_1946_p3.jpg
[11] McElroy in 1902. Leader (Vic.) Mar 1, 1902, Page 2.tbn_aus_homecraft_11_leader_vic._mar_1_1902_page_2..jpg
From “Table Talk” (Vic.) July 17, 1927tbn_aus_homecrafts_ad_1927.jpg
1935 Advert celebrating 30 years progress. Radio Trade Annual 1935, page 212.tbn_aus_homecrafts_k_rta_1935_p212.jpg
Selling Philips radio in 1955. The Argus (Vic.) Dec 17, 1955 Page 3tbn_aus_homecrafts_the_argus_vic_dec_17_1955_page_3.jpg
Advert for The Homecrafts Catalogue of Radio, 1925. The Age (Vic.) May 21 1925 Page 12tbn_aus_homecrafts_the_age_vic_may_21_1925_page_12.jpg
Homecrafts progress as distributing organisation was very successful one year after the merger with EIL. Age (Vic.) Sep 20, 1940 Page 7.tbn_aus_homecrafts_age_vic._sep_20_1940_page_7._page.jpg
Advert from June 1923 for radio parts and the 1923 Mc Elroy's catalogue. Wireless weekly Jun 15, 1923 Page 7tbn_aus_homecraft_wireless_weekly_jun_15_1923_page_7.jpg
1934 Homecrafts 64 page cataloguetbn_1934_homecrafts_64_page_catalog.png


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