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History of the manufacturer  

Sullivan, H.W., London

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Name: Sullivan, H.W., London    (GB)  
Abbreviation: sullivan
Products: Model types Others Tube manufacturer Further brand

H.W. Sullivan Ltd.
Factory & Showroom: Liverpool House, Middlesex Street, London, E1.
Offices: Winchester House, London, EC2
Archcliffe Road, Dover Kent CT17 9EN (1971-1987)

Largely known for the manufacture of precision electrical instruments. Initially telegraph signalling equipment, Wheatstone and Kelvin bridges and standard resistors, capacitors, and later electronic test equipment. H.W. Sullivan Ltd was incorporated into the Cambridge Instrument Co. in the 1960’s and later became part of George Kent Group and was taken over by Thorn in 1971, trading as Sullivan, part of the Thorn, Measurement and Components Division

Founded: 1897
Closed: 1987
Production: 1897 - 1987

Herbert Watson Sullivan (1856 – 1925) served a three years' apprenticeship with Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Co. Ltd. from 1870. He then joined the Eastern Telegraph Co., assisting C. V. de Sauty in the first successful duplex (simultaneous transmission in opposite directions) experiments along the 365 NM Lisbon-Gibraltar submarine cable.

Suffering from ill health at times he worked in the undersea cable lying industry for the next 20 years as electrician-in-chief and consulting engineer until starting his own business in 1897.

He saw an opportunity to manufacture and patent instruments for cable testing and telegraph signalling. The moving mirror galvanometer which he invented and developed achieved instant and worldwide recognition.

He assisted the Government in the early days of WW1, mainly in the development of wireless telegraphy which laid the foundations of an extensive connection with the Home Departments and Foreign Governments.

In 1922 he formed the business into a limited company and the Wireless & Apparatus Catalogue for Transmission & Reception for the year listed the following products:

  • Accumulators and dry cell batteries
  • Ammeters
  • RF and Audio Amplifiers, 5 & 6 valve
  • Buzzers
  • Chokes
  • RF Tuning units
  • Reactance coils
  • Condensers, Mica, glass dielectric and variable
  • Grid Leaks
  • Resistors
  • Potentiometers & Rheostats
  • R-Type Valves
  • Headphones
  • Valve receivers
  • Transformers
  • Radio Telephone transmitters, experimental and demonstration

The company manufactured a variety of standards and instruments which were used in most scientific electrical and electronic laboratories.

During the 1960s the company was acquired by Cambridge Instrument Co. which was later part of the George Kent Group and was taken over by Thorn in 1971 which also took over AVO at the same time. 

The Sullivan brand continued until 1987 when Sullivan and AVO were incorporated into Megger Instruments Limited.

This manufacturer was suggested by Konrad Birkner † 12.08.2014.

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
GB  23 Sullivan   BBC/PMG stamp, GPO No.171; 
GB  23 Crystal Receiver No. 500   H. W. Sullivan LTD. Sullivan Broadcasting Receivers - Crystal Set List No. 500 
GB  21 One Valve Receiver R_England  One tube receiver breadboard type. 
GB  75 Automatic Component Analyser AC5555   5 terminal 1kHz general-purpose automatic bridge with digital display of impedance. 6 ra... 
GB  23 Single-Valve Note Magnifier No. 521   H. W. Sullivan LTD. Sullivan Broadcasting Receivers - Single-Valve Note Magnifier List No.... 
GB  23 Four-Valve Cabinet Receiver No. 514   H. W. Sullivan LTD. Sullivan Broadcasting Receivers Four-Valve Cabinet Receiver List No. 514 
GB  23 Three-Valve Cabinet Receiver No. 513   H. W. Sullivan LTD. Sullivan Broadcasting Receivers Three-Valve Cabinet Receiver List No. ... 
GB  23 Three-Valve Cabinet Receiver No. 513A   H. W. Sullivan LTD. Sullivan Broadcasting Receivers Three-Valve Cabinet Receiver List No. ... 
GB  34 Universal Wavemeter   Wavemeter covering 30 kHz to 15 MHz. Accuracy 0.1%, Frequency stability 0.002%; scale re... 
GB  63 Variable Air Condenser C850/S   Precision variable capacitor 0 - 1100 pF housed in a wooden casing. Large rotary knob with... 
GB  23 Crystal Set No. 499 [(Breadboard Type)]   H. W. Sullivan LTD. Sullivan Broadcasting Receivers - Crystal Receiver Set List No. 499 B... 
GB  23 Two-Valve Cabinet Receiver No. 516   Sullivan Broadcasting Receivers Two-Valve Cabinet Receiver. Wavelength Range 300 to 3,000 ... 


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

1913 Advert. Wireless World Jun 1913, Page 2tbn_gb_sullivan_wireless_world_jun_1913_page_2.jpg
Unsourced ad c/. 1917tbn_sullivan_instruments_ad_1917.png
Unsourced ad c. 1918tbn_sullivan_instruments_ad_1918.png
January 13, 1923 The Wireless World and Radio Review rear covertbn_gb_sullivan_jan._13_1923_wireless_world_rc.jpg
April 7, 1923 The Wireless World and Radio Review rear covertbn_gb_sullivan-ad.jpg
December 25th, 1920 The Wireless World magazine advertisement on rear cover.tbn_gb_sullivan_ad_dec.25.1920_the_wireless_world_rear_cover.jpg
Wireless World 19th March 1921tbn_sullivan_r_tube_ww19321.jpg
April 21, 1923 The Wireless World and Radio Review rear covertbn_gb_sullivan_2valve516-ad_1.jpg
1978 advert. Wireless World Sep 1978, page 113tbn_gb_sullivan_wireless_world_sep_1978_page_113.jpg