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History of the manufacturer  

Jackson-Bell Co. (pre 1935); Los Angeles

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Name: Jackson-Bell Co. (pre 1935); Los Angeles    (USA)  
Mellotone || Trumpet-Tone
Abbreviation: jackson-be
Products: Model types

Jackson-Bell Company; Los Angeles, California - Trade names Jackson Bell, Mellotone, Peter Pan, Trumpet-Tone.
Generalvertreter Schweiz: Wenger & Cie.; Zürich. [373234-1058B].

Founded: 1926
Closed: 1935
Jackson-Bell started in 1926 but ceased in 1935 - is what we know on models - but the financial end was 1933. Today it is well known by collectors because of the models called "Peter Pan", "Tulip", "Sunrise" and "Swan" etc. To our knowledge Jackson-Bell was a marketing company and the maker was Gilfillan Brothers Radio Works, Los Angeles.

Jackson-Bell (J-B) began offering superhets in 1931 and 1932 but continued to invest heavily in TRF parts. In late 1932, too much money had been spent on unusable parts and the company went bankrupt. By 1933, Herb Bell had formed Packard-Bell.
There is only little information on Elmer William Zwebell (Zwiebel). He was the brother of Herbert, Arthur, Albert, and Willard Zwiebel. Herbert, Albert and Willard changed their name to Bell after moving from Wisconsin to California.

They were the sons of Anton Zwiebel Jr., who lived in Burlington and Milwaukee before moving to Los Angeles. Elmer was married to Caroline DePaules Graham (married 5 Mar 1932).

Apparently Elmer was the Cabinet maker for the radio company owned by his brother Herbert. Elmer's other brothers, Willard and Albert worked for the company as did their father Anton. At some point Elmer left the company, and around 1952, retired from selling building material and trailer homes in the Newport area of LA.

Herbert and Albert started working in Radio Electronics around 1928 in their fathers garage. They had formed a company which did not survive, however, around 1929, Herbert would form a partnership with Mr.Jackson, naming the company Jackson-Bell Corp., making radios.

In 1933 Herb.Bell formed a partnership to establish Packard-Bell, also making radios.
Obviously Herberts other brothers worked for the company. The company became involved with Military Electronics, and did very well through WWII. Sometime after the war, Herberts brothers left the company. Herbert continued to run the company, and took it public in the 1950's and remained it's president until 1956, them became chairman of the Board of Directors.

Herbert and his brothers were the sons of Anton Zwiebel Jr. Their grandfather, Anton Sr., emigrated from St. Jean-Saverne, Alsace France at the age of 16. He became a very successful business person, owning machine shops and auto garages in Burlington. Wisconsin. Anton also was an inventor, and had received four or five patents during his life.
His brother, Michael Zwiebel is the Great great grandfather of Lew Zwiebel, who provided most of all that information. Thanks!
When Jackson-Bell went into receivership in spring/summer 1933, an order by the referee caused the name J-B not to be used for a silver mirror model being made formerly for J-B, and then continued by that (yet unknown) manufacturer even during (and perhaps after) the J-B receivership. We can assume that after the receivership was closed, the name J-B was free and was revived for use in 1936 for a few radio models by that background maker.

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
USA  31 62 Lyre Grille    
USA  32 82 Tulip    
USA  30 60 [cathedral] 26  Push-pull af output stage. The Chassis was produced by Gilfillan.The cabinet is according ... 
USA  31 84 Peter Pan "Junior" Export 24  220 V version for the european market. More ornate than the standard 84 Peter Pan model. 
USA  31 Lyra-Tone 62 24   
USA  28 5 [late] 226  The model 5 late by Jackson-Bell has 2 RF plug in coils wound on UX201A tube base forms, a... 
USA  27 4 [early] UX201A  The early model 4 by Jackson-Bell used electrolytic rectifiers, built-in horn speaker made... 
USA  31 89 [table] 51  Push-pull af output stage. 
USA  31 89 [console] 51  Push-pull af output stage. 
USA  31 Tulip 88 [deco columns] 51  Center knob is elevated, while at model 87 the knobs are in line. 
USA  31 Tulip 68 24  Stein: "Machine Age to Jet Age, vol.2" calls a model 62 erroneously 68. Push-pull output s... 
USA  30 62 [3rd series] 224   


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

October 1931, Radio Doings magazine advertisement page 48tbn_usa_jackson_bell_peter_pan_oct._1931_radio_doings_page_48.jpg

Forum contributions about this manufacturer/brand
Jackson-Bell Co. (pre 1935); Los Angeles
Threads: 1 | Posts: 1
Hits: 1863     Replies: 0
Jackson-Bell cabinets
Konrad Birkner † 12.08.2014

For three of the well known midget cabinets are design patents known (in Germany= "Gebrauchsmusterschutz"). See Attachment

Filed by Elmer W.Zwiebel, who worked for his brother Herb Bell, as some brothers did (maybe all of them).

Herb Bell, the co-founder of Jackson-Bell (and later Packard-Bell) was born as Herbert Anthony Zwiebel. Another brother was A.B.Zwebell (spelling!).

Gilfillan was involved insofar as Jackson-Bell had a production department in the Gilfillan factory at 1815 Venice Blvd., where the chassis were assembled.

Chassis were produced not only for Jackson-Bell, but also for a number of other contracting companies:
 - Advance Electric (Falck)
 - Breting
 - Cardinal Radio
 - Davison-Haynes (Angeles) for Montgomery Ward
 - Echophone
 - Flint
 - Keller-Fuller
 - Kemper
 - Packard-Bell
 - Patterson
 - Pierson De Lane
 - Shelley (Peter Pan)
 - Troy


- Floyd A.Paul: Los Angeles Radio Manufacturing
- U.S.Patent Office Official Gazette (kindly provided by Alan Douglas)


Jackson-Bell Co. (pre 1935); Los Angeles
End of forum contributions about this manufacturer/brand