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History of the manufacturer  

Emerson Radio & Phonograph Corp.; New York, NY

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Name: Emerson Radio & Phonograph Corp.; New York, NY    (USA)  
alternative name:
Emerson Television
Brand: Emersonette || Jewel || Mickey-Mouse
Abbreviation: emerson
Products: Model types Brand

Emerson Radio & Phonograph Corporation (short: Emerson Corporation)
309 6th Avenue, New York, N.Y. (August 1926, McGraw-Hill Radio Trade Catalog)
111 8th Avenue, New York, N.Y. (as of 1942)

Emerson Television and Radio Corporation (from the 1960`s onward)
Jersey City 2, New Jersey

Trade names: Emerson, Emersonette, Jewel, Kadette, Mickey-Mouse

Importer for Switzerland (Schweiz): Rosset & Cie., Genève.

Emerson Radval Corp in New York made the "Emerson Multivalve" in the mid-1920s, but the company is unrelated.

Radio tubes with the Emerson brand were made for the company by RCA from c. 1937 to 1964. These included standard receiving types in glass and metal. Some tubes not made by RCA were made by a few other companies but details are not known.


Wikipedia [Nov 19, 2009, EE]:

Emerson Radio

Emerson Radio Corporation (AMEX: MSN) was founded in 1948. It is one of the United States' largest volume consumer electronics distributors and has a recognized trademark in continuous use since 1912. The company designs, markets and licenses many product lines worldwide, including products sold, and sometimes licensed, under the brand name G Clef, a homage to Emerson's logo.


1915 - 1920
Emerson Radio Corp. was incorporated in 1915 as Emerson Phonograph Co. (NAICS: 421620 Consumer Electronics Wholesaling), based in New York City, by an early recording engineer and executive, Victor Hugo Emerson, who was at one time employed by Columbia Records. The first factories were opened in Chicago and Boston, in 1920. In December of that year, the company fell victim to the unanticipated sales slump for phonograph music that accompanied the post-World War I recession and the growth of commercial radio. It went from the self-claimed third largest record manufacturer into receivership.

See also the separate story from Wikipedia below under Emerson Records.

1921 - 1940
In 1922 Emerson Phonograph Co. passed into the hands of Benjamin Abrams and Rudolph Kanarak. Abrams, a phonograph and record salesman, along with his two brothers, ran the company and renamed it Emerson Radio & Phonograph Corp in 1924 after entering the radio business. The company's record interests were subsequently sold. Although Emerson introduced the first radio-phonograph combination sold in the United States, the company remained in obscurity until 1932, when, during the Great Depression, it introduced the "Peewee" radio.

1941 - 1950
Emerson Radio & Phonograph converted to military production for World War II in 1942, when it held one-sixth of the U.S. radio market. In 1943, it became a public corporation, when it offered over 40 percent of its stock to the public for $12 a share. In 1947, among its first post-war products, Emerson offered a television set with a 10-inch tube. Although its ending retail price was nearly equal to a months salary for the average working American, it put Emerson at the lower end of the market. However, between fiscal 1948 and 1950, the high demand for television allowed Emerson to more than double its sales. Its net income reached a record of $6.5 million in fiscal 1950, with sales of $74.2 million.

1951 - 1960
In 1953 Emerson Radio and Phonograph purchased Quiet Heet Corp., which entered the company into air conditioning. Although radio represented only 15 percent of Emerson's revenue by 1954[3], the company credited itself as creating the firsts of the clock radio, self-powered radio, and transistorized pocket radio. And production of tape recorders began in 1955.

Emerson Radio and Phonograph paid $6 million to purchase the consumer products division of Allen B. DuMont Laboratories, Inc. in 1958. With this acquisition, a higher-priced line of television sets, phonographs and high-fidelity and stereo instruments, along with the DuMont trademark was added to Emerson's products. Unfortunately, by this time, almost every U.S. household that wanted a TV set already had one, and many customers who were in need of another set were waiting for color television instead of buying a replacement. Sales fell from $87.4 million in fiscal 1955 to $73.9 million in fiscal 1956, when the company earned a paltry $84,852. A cost-cutting campaign by Abrams rebounded net income which reached $2.7 million in fiscal 1959 on sales of $67.4 million. In fiscal 1964 (Emerson's last full year of independent operation) it earned $2.1 million on sales of $68.2 million.

1961 - 1980
In 1965 the company acquired the Pilot Radio Corp. Later Emerson was purchased for approx. $62 million in cash and stock by National Union Electric Corp. This company continued to produce radios, television sets and phonographs distributed under the Emerson and DuMont names and hi-fi equipment under the Pilot name.

Between 1967 and 1971 the National Union Electric division lost about $27 million due to too little volume to cover costs. The division contracted out the manufacturing of television sets and some other home entertainment products to Admiral Corp., and laid-off 1,800 employees. In addition to importing some of its home entertainment products from the Far East, Emerson continued to be responsible for design, engineering, and marketing.

In late 1972 National Union Electric announced that Emerson was discontinuing distribution of television sets and other home entertainment products. In 1973 Emerson sold its license for marketing products under the Emerson name to Major Electronics Corp. Founded in 1948 by Melvin Lane and incorporated in 1956, this Brooklyn-based company originally made children's phonographs. The company later diversified into the production and sale of a broad line of low-priced home entertainment products that included stereos, radios, and clock radios. In 1971 Major also began importing low-cost radios. By 1975 the company was only manufacturing portable phonographs. In 1976 the company moved its headquarters to Secaucus, New Jersey, and changed its name to Emerson Radio Corp. in 1977.

By 1978 phonographs, radios, tape recorders and players, compact stereos, digital clock radios, and other low to medium-priced electronic equipment was being imported, assembled, and marketed, primarily under the Emerson name. Approximately 60 percent of its components were imported from the Far East and 20 percent from each Great Britain and domestically, and assembled in either Secaucus or Sun Valley, California.

Emerson Radio dropped its last U.S.-made product, the phonograph line, in 1980 because it became unprofitable due to rising labor costs. Despite harsh competition, Emerson Radio raised its sales and earnings in fiscal 1980 to $81.9 million and $1.6 million, respectively. Their plan was to have their suppliers (mainly in Taiwan and South Korea) imitate Sony and Panasonic audio/video products and then sell them at a lower price.

1981 - 1990
Emerson reintroduced television sets in 1983, purchased from Goldstar Electric Co. (LG Electronics), and sold at a higher price point.

In 1984, Emerson signed a 10-year contract with Orion Electric to produce a line of VCRs.

In 1985, a compact disc player was introduced. TV sets and VCR's accounted for two-thirds of sales that year. Later that year, Emerson Radio moved its headquarters to North Bergen, New Jersey, and acquired H. H. Scott, Inc., a company that manufactured high-fidelity audio and visual equipment. Products were sold under the Scott name until 1991, the year the line was discontinued.

In 1986 Emerson began importing and marketing compact refrigerators and Hi-Fi stereo VHS VCRs. Camcorders, telephones, and answering machines were added to its product line in fiscal 1988. In 1990 personal computers and facsimile machines were added for a major roll-out to more than 500 Wal-Mart stores.

In 1988, Emerson Radio was sold to Panasonic.

1991 - 2000
Fidenas Investment Ltd., a Swiss firm based in the Bahamas, began purchasing shares of Emerson Radio in 1989 and held 20 percent by 1992, when they began a takeover attempt. The Lane brothers were seeking to restructure $180 million in debt, but conceded defeat in June 1992. Emerson's financial situation worsened, and in 1993 the company incurred a loss of $56 million on sales of $741.4 million. When the company filed for bankruptcy in October 1993, Emerson had been in default on $223 million in debt for the previous two years.

In 1994, the company emerged from bankruptcy pursuant to a plan of reorganization and with $75 million in financing arranged by Fidenas, which had assumed a 90 percent stake in Emerson. It then issued 30 million shares, some of which were claimed by creditors. Legal battles ensued and continued until mid-August 2001.

In early 1995, in an effort to cut costs, Emerson Radio licensed the manufacture of certain video products under the Emerson trademark for a three-year period to Otake Trading Co. Ltd. The company also licensed the sale of these products in the United States and Canada for the same period to Wal-Mart Stores. As a result, Emerson's net sales fell from $654.7 million in fiscal 1995 to $245.7 million in fiscal 1996, with the licensing agreement only providing about $4 million a year in royalty income.

Also in 1995, Emerson Radio entered the home theater and car audio fields, and the $900-million-a-year home and personal security market with a carbon monoxide detector. The company planned to eventually extend their business in that market, but left it in fiscal 1997. Additionally, Emerson announced it would license the Emerson name to more than 250 audio and video accessories made by Jasco Products Co., an Oklahoma firm selling cables, remote controls, and appliance cleaning devices.

Emerson announced in November 1998 that it had entered into an exclusive agreement with Team Products International, Inc. of Boonton, N.J., a distributor of audio, video and other consumer electronic product accessories in the United States and Canada. They promoted the sale of a wide variety of Emerson branded consumer electronic products and accessories.

The owner of Fidenas, Geoffrey P. Jurick, had assumed the position of CEO of the company in 1992 and in 1998 he added the titles of President and Chairman of the Board. In December 1998 he held 60 percent of Emerson's common stock. Kenneth S. Grossman, a private investor, along with Oaktree Capital Management, a Los Angeles-based investment firm that held a smaller stake in Emerson Radio, proposed to buy Jurick's holdings in the company for more than $14.6 million. The offer was rejected as "inadequate." Emerson announced in August 1999 that it planned to sell to Oaktree for $28.9 million.

When the licensing agreement with Otake expired, Emerson replaced the company with Daewoo Electronics, which entered into a four-year agreement to manufacture and sell products bearing the Emerson trademark to U.S. retailers. In 1999, Emerson also signed five-year license and supply agreements with Cargil International covering the Caribbean and Central and South American markets, along with WW Mexicana for certain consumer products to be sold in Mexico. They also had a licensing agreement with Telesound Electronics for telephones, answering machines, and caller ID products in the United States and Canada.

Nearly 84 percent of its merchandise in 1999 was imported, primarily from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea, and Thailand. Tonic Electronics (32 percent), Daewoo (22 percent), and Imarflex (12 percent) were its main suppliers. The company depended heavily on Wal-Mart Stores, which took about 52 percent of its goods in 1999, and Target Stores, Inc., which took about 24 percent.

2001 - present
In 2001, Emerson exited the video electronics business (TVs, DVD players, VCRs) and handed 100% of the manufacturing operations to Funai, which continued to make and market Emerson consumer video products for Wal-Mart. In January 2003, Emerson announced it had entered into a letter of intent naming Sanlian Group of Shandong, China the exclusive distributor of Emerson branded products through its subsidiary, Sanlian Household Electric Appliance Company (SHEAC). The agreement contemplated the supply and distribution of Emerson originated product categories through SHEAC's 200 retail stores and maintenance service centers as well as its extensive BtoB and BtoC e-commerce network. Sanlian was to license the Emerson brand for additional product categories it finds suitable for China-wide distribution and cooperate with Emerson in the design, development and sourcing for such.

Emerson Records

Emerson Records was a record label active in the United States between 1916 to 1928. Emerson Records produced between the 1910s and early 1920s offered generally above average audio fidelity for the era, pressed in high quality shellac. The fidelity of the later issues compares less favorably.

In 1916 Emerson produced 7-inch records and 5½-inch discs with popular tunes, dance numbers and patriotic marches, mostly recorded by small groups of musicians hired in New York City. They were credited as the "Emerson Orchestra" or sometimes "The Emerson Symphony Orchestra". In January 1918 Emerson added a line of 9-inch records. After WW1, Emerson began an ambitious expansion of the business, and in 1919 it finally introduced a line of common industry standard 10-inch discs.

The year 1919 saw the debut of a series of 12-inch Emerson discs, mostly of Classical music. At the same time, more popular "big name" artists were hired to record for the label including Wilbur Sweatman, Eddie Cantor, the Six Brown Brothers, and the Louisiana Five. Somewhat later, the label also recorded Lizzie Miles, Eubie Blake, Fletcher Henderson, and the Original Memphis Five.

Other noteworthy artists who recorded for Emerson included John W. Myers, Henry Burr and The Peerless Quartet, Billy Golden, Collins & Harlan, Sally Hamlin, Dan Quinn, Sam Ash, Vernon Dalhart, Van & Schenk, Ada Jones, and Homer Rodeheaver.

In May 1920, Emerson opened a second recording studio in Los Angeles. The expansions over-extended the company finances and forced it into receivership in 1921. In May 1922 investors Benjamin Abrams and Rudolph Kararek purchased the Emerson Company for $50,000 and raised an additional $200,000 of capital to revive the business. In 1924 the investors sold Emerson to the Scranton Button Company of Scranton, Pennsylvania. who halted production of new records by its Emerson subsidiary in 1928.

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
USA  47 554 Ch= 120057A [Export] 12SA7  Ch=516; Nussbaum 
USA  35 AR185 Ch= AR 6A7  BC(540-1730kHz) and SW(5.6-18.0MHz) bands. Models with serial numbers below 1326200 use... 
USA  35 AR171 Ch= AR 6A7  BC(540-1730kHz) and SW(5.6-18.0MHz) bands. Models with serial numbers below 1326200 use... 
USA  33 AR179 6A7   
USA  37/38 AT-170 Ch= AT [no push-pull] 6A7  BC(540-1730kHz) and SW(5.6-18.0MHz) bands. Either 6.5" or 10" speaker. Capabi... 
USA  33 AT178 6A7   
USA  36/37 K-123 Ch= K 6D6  BC(540-1530kHz) and TROP(1500-3200kHz) bands. Ingraham cabinet. 
USA  37/38 AM-169 Ch= AM 6A7  BC (540-1730kHz) and SW (5.6-18.0MHz) bands. Ingraham cabinet with "Miracle Tone C... 
USA  37 AM187 Pagoda Ch= AM 6A7  Repwood, white with gold accents. BC(540-1730kHz) and SW(5.6-18.0MHz) bands. 
USA  38 AXLW211 Ch= AXLW 6A8GT  LW(157-370kHz) and BC(540-1650kHz) bands. 
USA  39 AXLW257 Ch= AXLW 6A8GT  LW(157-370kHz) and BC(540-1650kHz) bands. Also 25L6GT and 25Z6GT. 
USA  37 D134 Ch= D 6K7  BC(540-1800kHz), TROP(1750-6000kHz) and SW(5.5-18.0MHz) bands. Push-pull audio amplifier. ... 


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

Scanned from the Radio Retailing September 1941.tbn_emerson_prom_rr_sep41_p2.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing March 1941.tbn_emerson_prom_rr_mar41_p9.jpg
Emerson Radio Distribuida en España en el año 1934 por radio Saturnotbn_emerson.jpg
60" x 45" x 12"tbn_usa_emerson_1.jpg
Firmenlogo auf Modell ID 38502.tbn_usa_emerson_510.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing March 1937.tbn_emerson_prom_mar37.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing November 1941 page 5.tbn_emerson_prom_rr_nov41_p5.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing October 1945 page 1.tbn_emerson_prom_rr_oct45_p1.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing January 1946 page 101.tbn_emerson_prom_rr_jan46_p101.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing March 1946 page 89.tbn_emerson_prom_rr_mar46_p89.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing April 1946 page 95.tbn_emerson_prom_rr_apr46_p95.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing May 1946 page 97.tbn_emerson_prom_rr_may46_p97.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing June 1946 page 81.tbn_emerson_prom_rr_jun46_p81.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing July 1946 page 47.tbn_emerson_prom_rr_jul46_p47.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing August 1946 page 39.tbn_emers_prom_rr_aug46_p39.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing January 1947 page 5.tbn_rr_jan47_p5.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing February 1947 page 15.tbn_rr_feb47_p15.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing March 1947 page 3.tbn_rr_mar47_p3.jpg
Scanned from the Radio & Television Retailing April 1947 page 3.tbn_rr_apr47_p3.jpg
Scanned from the Radio & Television Retailing May 1947 page 47.tbn_rr_may47_p47.jpg
Scanned from the Radio & Television Retailing September 1947 page 12.tbn_rr_sep47_p12.jpg
Scanned from the Radio & Television Retailing September 1947 page 13.tbn_rr_sep47_p13.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder "New 1954".tbn_emerson_folder_1954_p1_part1.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder "New 1954".tbn_emerson_folder_1954_p2.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder "New 1952".tbn_emerson_folder_new1952_p1.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder for 1942.tbn_emerson_folder_1942_p2_part1.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder for 1942.tbn_emerson_folder_1942_p2_part3.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder Form. 46-101, 1-46 for 1946.tbn_emerson_folder_1946_p1.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder Form. 46-101, 1-46 for 1946.tbn_emerson_folder_1946_p2.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder Form. 49-102, 8-48 for 1949.tbn_emerson_folder_1949_p1_part1.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder Form. 39-22, 2-39 for 1939.tbn_emerson_folder_1939_p1.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder Form. 38-3, 5-37 for 1938.tbn_emerson_folder_1938_p4.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder Form. 40-31, 1-40 for 1940.tbn_emerson_folder_1940_p1.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder Form. 40-31, 1-40 for 1940.tbn_emerson_folder_1940_p2.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder Form-19, 37-6-36, for 1936/1937.tbn_emerson_folder_19_1936_37_p2.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder Form. 45-105, 7-45 for 1945.tbn_emerson_folder_1945_p1.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder Form. 45-105, 7-45 for 1945.tbn_emerson_folder_1945_p2.jpg
Scanned from the Emerson Folder Form. No. 50-628 for "New 1950".tbn_emerson_folder_1950_p1.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing February 1939 page 4.tbn_rr_february1939_ad_emerson_p4.jpg
Scanned from the Radio Retailing February 1939 page 5.tbn_rr_february1939_ad_emerson_p5.jpg


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