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History of the manufacturer  

Oard Radio Laboratories Inc; Stockton, CA

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Name: Oard Radio Laboratories Inc; Stockton, CA    (USA)  
Abbreviation: oardlabs
Products: Model types

Oard Radio Laboratories Inc; Stockton, California

Founded: 1915
Closed: 1924
Production: 1915 - 1924

History of Oard Radio Laboratories and their involvement with Atlantic-Pacific Radio Supplies Company

Paul Sherman Oard was born in Salem, Oregon USA in 1894 (some references say 1893). His father died in an accident three years later and the remaining family moved to Stockton, California, just outside San Francisco, a few years later.

In 1911, while at high school he became interested in the early radio development of the time. He passed the Government radio examination very succesfully and in 1912, obtained employment at the (US) Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, where he became a ships operator. As a 20 year old, he resigned his position in 1914 and returned to Stockton, where he began a radio business. He applied for a patent on a "radio device" - possibly a crystal detector - the same year. Also in 1914, the US Government closed radio stations because of World War One and this curtailed his business prospects. Because of his radio knowledge, the Government appointed him as a radio instructor to Stockton High School. He was able to teach a significant number of radio operators while there. In 1917 he was drafted into the US Military.

At the end of the War Oard recommenced radio manufacture, with his step father, H.R.McCoy, as a silent partner. Thus Oard radio laboratories was formed. This was in 1919. The factory was located at the corner of South and Aurora Streets, Stockton. In 1920 Oard was granted a license to use the regenerative circuit patent of Edwin Armstrong in his sets. This meant that the company had a high position in the radio world. At the time, a "loose leaf" catalog was available, listing among other items, an "Audion Control Panel" which could use either a Moorhead ER baseless double ended tube or a Moorhead VT, which were supplied to the company. The radio was equipped for both. This set was advertised in the August 1920 issue of pacific Radio News.

Also early in 1920, Oard Radio Laboratories signed a contract with the California Electric Supply Company (CESCO) of San Francisco, to supply the Pacific Coast of the US with radios and parts. A testing room was made available by CESCO for prior sales, by the customers themselves. A complete radio transmitter was also erected in the room for radio enthusiasts to listen in to broadcasts.   

In 1921, the stockton financier and radio experimenter, George A Turner became interested in Oards work and incorporated the Portable Wireless Telephone Company to distribute Oard's products. In a short while, Oard radios were available through hundreds of dealers throughout the US. Turner was also able to appoint the Atlantic-Pacific Radio Supplies Company as sole agents for Oard radios. It was reported in the "Western Machinery and Steel World" magazine, June 1922, page 223 that Oard Radio Laboratories, the Portable Wireless Telephone Company and the Atlantic-Pacific Radio Supplies Company had taken over the display rooms of the General Motors Company for the manufacture of wireless supplies. By 1923, Oard outlets numbered over one thousand.  

During the association with the Atlantic-Pacific Radio Supplies Company, the Oard company made several sets which had this branded on the front panel: Manufactured by Oard Radio Laboratories Stockton Calif. (model and serial number under this); Atlantic-Pacific Radio Supplies Co San Francisco Sole Agents; Licensed under Armstrong US 1113149 Oct. 6. 1914 for Amateur and Experimental Use Only. The oard "Phantom Receptor" was famous as it was able to receive transmissions from several thousand miles away, without using an external antenna. This was one set with the branding on the panel.

Oard died on April 7th, 1972 in San Diego, California. No official obituary has been found and there is no record beyond 1926 to say what happened to the company. The company as listed in several Stockton City Directories, the last entry being in 1926. There was no listing in the 1930 Directory.


1) History of San Jaoquin County, California, George H Tinkham, 1923, pages 944-947,   

2) Pacific Radio News advert. August 1920

3) San Jaoquin County Museum Archives.

This manufacturer was suggested by Fin Stewart.

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
USA  20 Navy Standard Receiving Transformer    
USA  15 Oard Tuneometer   Oard Tuneometer Loose Coupler Crystal set. Mahogany base. 
USA  20 Professional Audion Control Panel   Oard Radio Laboratories Professional Audion Control. Control was fitted with Arc and Spark... 
USA  20 Regenerative Receiver   Oard Radio Laboratories Regenerative Receiver. Set covered the 100 to 600 meters wavelengt... 
USA  20 Audion Control Panel VT-Class-I  Oard Radio Laboratories Audion Control. Control was fitted with V.T.socket to use the Moor... 
USA  20 Regenerative Short Wave Receiver   Oard Radio Laboratories Regenerative Short Wave Receiver. Set covered the 100 to 600 meter... 


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

September 1915, The World's Advance magazine advertisement page 122tbn_usa_oard_tuneometer_sept._1915_worlds_advance_page_122.jpg