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History of the manufacturer  

Wilcox-Gay Corp.; Charlotte (MI)

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Name: Wilcox-Gay Corp.; Charlotte (MI)    (USA)  
Abbreviation: wilcox-gay
Products: Model types

Wilcox-Gay Corp., Charlotte, Michigan.
Trade names: Recordio, Wilcox-Gay


Wilcox was just a little company in in Charlotte Michigan making radios and transcription recorders. They started out around 1910 manufacturing amateur radio components and kits at an office on West Lawrence Ave in Charlotte. In the 1926 they branched out into consumer radios. In 1931 Paul Gay joined the company forming Wilcox-Gay Corp. They moved into the old Bennett furniture factory and expanded into tape decks, reel-to-reel, televisions, police radios, and record players. They launched the Recordio in 1939 which was a major coup. It was advertised to the middle class in both Ebony and Life Magazine and it sold well. It recorded 78 rpm transcriptions with decent fidelity. Musicians recorded on these machines including Les Paul and Johnny Cash. In 1939 they sold 25,000 units. But the world was beginning to adopt magnetic tape and the great depression was hurting them.

In 1950 Leonard Ashbach of the Leonard Ashbach Company acquired a controlling interest in Wilcox-Gay. The Ashbach Company already owned Garod and Grundig. Simultaneously Ashbach was privately funding Jack Eigen, a WMGM host turned real estate developer opening social clubs on Manhattan. One of the first things Ashbach did was arrange for Wilcox-Gay to purchase Majestic Radio and television to fully merge the 3 companies he was heading. It was prudent and it consolidated a signifigant portion of American radio manufacturing. Ashbach dropped the Majestic brand and in 1955 modified the Grundig branding to be "Grundig-Majestic."

In 1960 they re-located to 743 LaSalle Street in Chicago. It was probably related to their 6 year saga trying to get out of bankruptcy. In 1961 they got up from under the SEC and promptly Ashbach changed the company's name from Wilcox-Gay Corp to Wilcox-Gay-Majestic Electronics Corp. But only 2 years later they declared bankruptcy again and this time were gone for good. Some sources put their closure as 1958 but magazine ads can easily be found to the 1960s more aligning with the 1961 chapter 7 filing with the SEC. But Ashbach wasn't done. After sinking Wilcox-Gay he moved to Encino California and got a job heading up Monarch Electronics in North Hollywood. There in 1967 he relaunched the Majestic brand to make 8-track cassette tapes. In 1969 their subsidiary Concertone started making those flimsy mini cassettes. But in 1973 the SEC spanked him again for fraud. The trail ends there.

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
USA  47 Recordio 6B45U   This model is similar to the 6B45 Mahattan series. 
USA  37/38 Exter 7M6 6A7  This model appears to be an export model.  Uses ballast tube L42B. 
USA  47 Recordio Unknown1    
USA  56 651 12AX7  2 Pmd Speakers; 4" , 5"x7" 1 Electrostatic speaker,  3". Error in parts list: ... 
USA  56 Recordio 5F Series 12AY7  Wilcox-Gay 5F Recordio. Accepts 5- and 7-inch reel sizes. 3.75 and 7.5 ips.  
USA  56 674 12AX7  3 Pmd Speakers; 4" , 4", 6"x9" 2 Electrostatic speakers,  3".   &n... 
USA  38/39 A-43 (A-45 chairside stand)   Portable Wall-Radio. Cabinet available in Walnut or Platinum Mahogany, Wall hanger is i... 
USA  50 Recordio 9G42 12AT7  AC Operated Combination Phonograph-Recorder-Radio. AM-FM Superheterodyne Receiver. ... 
USA  50 Recordio 9G40M 12AT7  AC Operated Combination Phonograph-Recorder-Radio AM-FM Superheterodyne Receiver ... 
USA  50 Recordio 9H40B 12AT7  AC Operated Combination Phono-Radio AM-FM Superheterodyne Receiver. AM: 540-1620 kc&n... 
USA  50 Recordio 9G10 12AT7  AC operated Combination Phonograph-Recorder-Radio, AM-FM Superheterodyne Receiver with ... 
USA  37 A-31    


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

Scanned from the Radio Retailing August 1937.tbn_wilcox_prom_aug37.jpg
Disc 6,5" (16,5cm) for home-recording with the "Recordio"-models. "Slow burning".tbn_usa_wilcoxgay_recordio_disc.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing March 1942.tbn_wilcox_prom_mar42_p23.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing April 1946 page 115.tbn_wilcox_gay_prom_rr_apr46_p1.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing May 1946 page 125.tbn_recordio_prom_rr_may46_p125.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing June 1946 page 15.tbn_wilcox_gay_prom_rr_jun46_p1.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing July 1946 page 83.tbn_recordio_prom_rr_jul46_p83.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing November 1946 page 21.tbn_rr_nov46_p21.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing January 1947 page 23.tbn_rr_jan47_p23.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing February 1947 page 5.tbn_rr_feb47_p5.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing March 1947 page 9.tbn_rr_mar47_p9.jpg
Scanned from the Radio & Television Retailing July 1947 page 19.tbn_rr_jul47_p19.jpg
Scanned from the Radio & Television Retailing August 1947 page 29.tbn_rr_aug47_p29.jpg
Scanned from the Radio & Television Retailing September 1947 page 37.tbn_rr_sep47_p37.jpg
Scanned from the Wilcox-Gay Folder for 1939.tbn_wilcoxgay_folder_1939_p2.jpg
Scanned from the Wilcox-Gay Folder for 1939.tbn_wilcoxgay_folder_1939_p3.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing June 1939 page 11.tbn_rr_june1939_ad_wilcoxgay_p11.jpg