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History of the manufacturer  

Rola Company (AUS) Pty. Ltd.; Melbourne

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Name: Rola Company (AUS) Pty. Ltd.; Melbourne    (AUS)  
Abbreviation: rola-aus
Products: Model types Others

Rola Company (AUS) Pty Ltd., Little Lonsdale St., Melbourne; also: Richmond, Victoria.

Rola Company was well known as a manufacturer of loudspeakers, transformers, wire and the associated magnetic components prior to the acquisition of Byer Industries Pty Ltd in the late 1950's. The ROLA Co (Aust) Pty Ltd Head Office from 1930 to 1934 was located at Little Lonsdale St. Melbourne

Australian Rola Company was a manufacturer of loudspeakers, transformers, wire and the associated magnetic components, etc.

Founded: 1930

The Rola Company in Australia was formed by Mr. A.L.C. Webb in 1930 and while the company was wholly Australian owned it did rely on a steady supply of components from the Rola Company of Oakland California. At this stage loudspeakers were only being assembled not fully manufactured by Rola (Aust) at their factory in Little Lonsdale St. Melbourne. Heavy duties on all imported goods were introduced by the Scullin Government in 1931. This meant that the cost of components used in the assembly of Rola's loudspeakers dramatically increased. To reduce costs Rola used local sub-contract manufacturers to make the metal components while the coil winding was an in-house operation. At this time there were fourteen loudspeaker manufacturers in Australia. Rola always had a policy of making a quality product unlike some other manufacturers, so this coupled with the economic conditions of the day meant that by 1935 most of the competition had fallen away. By 1934 the Little Lonsdale Street factory had become to small and a new factory was built at City Road South Melbourne. In only three years Rola's production had expanded so much that the City Road site had also become too small. A larger head office and factory at The Boulevard Richmond was opened in 1937 with loudspeaker production now running at 90,000 units per year.Shortly after the commencement of World War Two the floor space of the Richmond factory was doubled to accommodate additional wire manufacturing plant. Large volumes of copper wire well beyond Rola's own requirements were needed for electrical and electronic equipment being used in the war effort. During the war loudspeaker production was restricted, however, microphones headsets and signals equipment were produced instead. Following the war Rola stepped up the production of loudspeakers once again. With the expanded production capacity as a result of the war Rola was now in a position to expand into new markets. Winding wire was needed for eletric motors in domestic appliances and industry. Television began in Australia in 1956 and Rola produced components for the local TV manufacturers. Various people have stated different dates as to the official take-over of Byer Industries by Rola, all of these dates would appear to be somewhat later than the date I have found. The Proceedings of the IRE Australia published an advertisement for Rola in December 1957 which stated that Byer products were being manufactured by Rola. If you factor in a publishing deadline for the advertisement then the take-over may have been as early as September 1957. Rola continued manufacturing in South Melbourne for a while then moved the operation to Richmond. Currently I can only pin down the time of the move to within a year, May 1958 they are still at Dorcas St. South Melbourne and by June 1959 The address is The Boulevard Richmond. 8 Dorcas St. is now a private residence. Plessey Electronics took over Rola (Aust) during the mid 1960's and continued to manufacture many of Rola's products.

This manufacturer was suggested by Vitor Oliveira.

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
AUS  47–52 Dynamic Reproducer 8H   The power handling capacity of Model 8H is similar to that of the Model 6H, but the freque... 
AUS  58–67 Speaker 2 C    
AUS  30 ANB-H-I   2000 ohm 
AUS  59 8MX    
AUS  22–28 Model 10   Rola speaker sold in australia in 1928. Unit was made in the USA and assembled in Austr... 
AUS  39 8-21 [Permaflex Spider]   8" Permag loudspeaker. Type No.8-21Overall Diameter8"Voicecoil Diameter1"Vo... 
AUS  39 G-12 [Electro Dynamic]   12" Electro-dynamic loudspeaker. Type No.G-12Overall Diameter12⅛"Voicecoil Diam... 
AUS  59 Byer "100" Series Console Tape Recorder   A professional quality, reel to reel tape recorder advertised in 1960 as; The world's fin... 
AUS  62 Professional 77 Mk III 6GW8  A three motor, reel to tape recoder with the following features; 1. The winding sp... 
AUS  66 Auto Announcer Mk 2   Rola area and fault identification announcement unit. The Auto Announcer Mk.2 is a new ... 
AUS  68 Programme Distribution Amplifier PDA100   The PDA100 is a high quality audio amplifier designed for multiple distribution of recorde... 
AUS  57 Variable Message Repeater (VMR)   In late 1957 the Australian Postmaster General's Department approached the Rola Compan... 


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

Rola advertisement from 1928tbn_aus_rola_speaker_ad_1928.jpg
Advertisement from April 1939.tbn_aus_rola_ad_april_1939.jpg
Rola manufactured enameled magnet wire. Cover of the 1954 Technical bulletin.tbn_aus_rola_wire_advert_july_1954.jpg
Typical Rola Label from the rear of a loudspeaker c1960's.tbn_aus_rola_speaker_logo~~1.jpg