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History of the manufacturer  

Wireless Shop, The, (Volmax); Sydney

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Name: Wireless Shop, The, (Volmax); Sydney    (AUS)  
Abbreviation: thewire
Products: Model types

The Wireless Shop.

6-8 Royal Arcade, Sydney, NSW

In 1921 F.V. Wallace bought a radio sales and repair shop in Royal Arcade, Sydney, which she ran while studying. She also worked as an electrical engineer and contractor. [1]

Advertisements from the 1930’s indicate that Volmax radios were manufactured and sold from The Wireless Shop in Sydney. [2] Volmax radios were manufactured by Wireless Supplies Ltd. which was founded in 1923. They went into liquidation in 1925 and perhaps Mrs Mac purchased the rights as their shops were only a few doors apart.

Founded: 1922
Closed: 1936

Florence Violet McKenzie OBE (nee Wallace), aka 'Mrs Mac' (1890-1982) was Australia's first female electrical engineer, first female amateur radio operator, and founder of the Electrical Association for Women. She is best known for her work during the Second World War. Having founded the Women's Emergency Signalling Corps in 1939, she campaigned successfully to have some of her female trainees accepted into the Royal Australian Navy, thereby originating the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service. During the war some 12,000 servicemen passed through her Morse code training school, and after the war her school was a major civilian airline and nautical signal instructional centre. The armed forces and civilian airlines relied on her services right up to the mid-50s. Apart from her successful electrical contracting and wireless supplies business between 1918 and 1934, all her work was voluntary.

Violet taught mathematics at Armadale, before deciding to take a course in electrical engineering. Throughout her studies, Miss Wallace worked as an electrical contractor, installing electricity in private houses, such as that of politician Archdale Parkhill in Mosman, and in factories and commercial premises, including the Standard Steam Laundry on Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo. "Self-made success". Sunday Guardian. 20 October 1929. She was an enthusiastic ham radio operator, being the first licensed woman in the country and with the call sign "2GA" (later changed to "VK2FV"). In 1922 Miss Wallace opened "The Wireless Shop", after purchasing the entire stock of the wireless vendor, who preceded her – billing itself as "the oldest radio shop in town". The shop was in Royal Arcade (which ran from George Street through to Pitt Street – replaced in the 1970s by the Hilton hotel). McKenzie later said it was schoolboys visiting her shop who first introduced her to Morse code. Australia's first weekly radio magazine was conceived at the shop, by Miss Wallace and three co-founders. "The Wireless Weekly" became the monthly magazine "Radio & Hobbies", then "Radio, Television & Hobbies", and finally Electronics Australia, and remained in circulation until 2001. [1]

On 8 June 1950, McKenzie was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her work with the WESC. In 1957 she was elected a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Navigation. In 1964 she became Patron of the Ex-WRANS Association. In 1979 she was made a Member of the Royal Naval Amateur Radio Society. In 1980 a plaque celebrating her "skills, character and generosity" was unveiled at the Missions to Seamen Mariners' Church, Flying Angel House. The Church has since relocated to 320 Sussex St, where the plaque can be seen in the garden. Violet McKenzie was nine years older than her husband Cecil, but she outlived him by 23 years. After his death in 1958, she shared her house for a time with Cecil's sister Jean, a primary school teacher. In May 1977, after a stroke paralysed her right side and confined her to a wheelchair, McKenzie moved to the nearby Glenwood Nursing Home. She died peacefully in her sleep on 23 May 1982. At her funeral service, held at the Church of St Giles in Greenwich, 24 serving WRANS formed a Guard of Honour. McKenzie was cremated at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium. The June 1982 edition of the newsletter of the Ex-WRANS Association was devoted to their former teacher and patron. Amongst the memories recorded therein is a statement McKenzie made two days before she died: " is finished, and I have proved to them all that women can be as good as, or better than men."

[1] Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 18, (MUP), 2012.
[2] The Sydney Mail(NSW) Sep 12, 1934, page 51

This manufacturer was suggested by Gary Cowans.

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
AUS  34 Volmax 8-Valve   Advertised in the “Sydney Mail” (NSW), September 26,1934, page 50 
AUS  24 Volmax RA   Sold by Wireless Supplies Ltd in 1924. The Wireless shop manufactured & sold Volmax... 
AUS  24 Volmax Airphone Jr.   Sold by Wireless Supplies Ltd in 1924. The Wireless shop manufactured & sold Volmax... 


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

Florence Violet Wallace, wearing a headset, at her wireless From Wikipedia “Florence Violet McKenzie“tbn_aus_theradio_fw_wallace_1922.jpg
Shop front c1922 Wikipedia “Florence Violet McKenzie“tbn_aus_theradio_shop_front_c1922.jpg
Advertising stating manufacturer of Volmax radios. Advertised in the “Sydney Mail” (NSW), September 5,1934, page 50tbn_aus_theradio_volmax_ad_1934.jpg
Volmax parts for sale. Advertised in the “Sydney Mail” (NSW), September 26,1934, page 50tbn_aus_theradio_volmax_parts_ad_1934.jpg
Volmax advertised by Wireless Supplies Ltd. 1924 Volmax radios advertised by Wireless Supplies Ltd. in 1924tbn_aus_theradio_wireless_supplies_1924.jpg
Volmax advertisement 1925tbn_aus_theradio_volmax_ad_1925.jpg
Advert from 1933 Wireless Weekly, Feb 24, 1933, page 16.tbn_aus_theradio_ad_ww_1933_02_24_page_16.jpg
Advert from the Wireless Weekly, 1932/33 Superhet Book for kit sets of the radios described in the book. Wireless weekly, 1932/33 Superhet Book, page 12.tbn_aus_thewire_1932_33_superheterodyne_book_page_12.jpg
Article on the early history of F.V. Wallace from 1924. Evening News 1924, Wireless Handbook, page 103.tbn_aus_thewire_evening_news_1924_wireless_handbook_p103.jpg