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History of the manufacturer  

Truvox Ltd.; London

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Name: Truvox Ltd.; London    (GB)  
Abbreviation: truvox
Products: Model types Others

Universal Gramophone & Radio Co., Ltd.
Ryland Road, Kentish Town, London NW5 (1929 - 1937)

Truvox Engineering Ltd.
Truvox House, Exhibition Grounds, Wembley, Middlesex (1947)
Neasden Lane, London NW10 (1960)

Brand: Truvox

1928: "Truvox" radios & loudspeakers debut.
1937: liquidation.
Prenn revives Truvox, focusing on loudspeakers.
WWII: Truvox aids with military communication tech.
Post-war: diversification into walkie-talkies, voice-logging, and floor care (acquired German machine in 1951).
1969: split - audio becomes Celestion, floor care remains Truvox.
Today: Truvox International, a global floor care leader under American ownership. 

Founded: 1928
Production: 1928 -

The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of Truvox:

Early Days (1928-1930s):

  • 1928: The Universal Gramophone & Radio Co., Ltd. launches the "Truvox" brand, offering innovative radios and loudspeakers. They gained recognition at major exhibitions like the Radio Olympia Exhibition in August 1930. [1]
  • 1930s: The company experiences financial difficulties and enters liquidation by 1937. [2]

Daniel Dan Prenn Enters the Stage (1933-1940s):

  • 1933: Daniel Dan Prenn (1904-1991), a former top-seeded tennis player who fled Nazi Germany, establishes Truvox Engineering Ltd., possibly with financial backing from Simon Marks of Marks & Spencer.
  • 1930s-1940s: Truvox shifts focus to loudspeaker manufacturing, offering various sizes and types, establishing a reputation for quality and innovation.
  • WWII (1939-1945): Truvox played a crucial role, producing thousands of Tannoy-type artillery loudspeaker-telephone sets for the military.

Post-War Expansion and Diversification (1945-1960s):

  • 1947: Truvox briefly offers a gramophone pick-up, utilizing plastic extrusion technology developed during the war.
  • 1949: They acquire Rola Celestion, solidifying their position in the audio equipment market.
  • 1950s: Truvox dabbles in various ventures, including license-built Bakelite cameras, electrical appliances, and a German-acquired floor cleaner machine (acquisition details still unclear).
  • 1950-1955: Truvox produces simple Bakelite-bodied cameras and electrical appliances.
  • 1951: They acquire the German floor cleaner machine and begin manufacturing it.
  • 1956: Truvox enters the airfield voice-logging market.
  • 1961: Truvox is already manufacturing industrial and domestic floor cleaning machines like scrubbers, polishers, vacuums, and fan heaters. The "Truvox Floorcraft" business has become significant.

Further Milestones (1960s):

  • 1963: Two Truvox Engineering Co. subsidiaries supply lighting equipment for BBC Television Centre's new studio 1.
  • 1967: Controls and Communications acquire Truvox (tape recorders and equipment) from Truvox (Neasden), previously controlled by Prenn's family trusts.
  • 1969: Controls and Communications merge with Racal.
  • 1969: Truvox Engineering (including Rola) undergoes a reverse takeover by the Weingarten Brothers corsetry group, forming Celestion Industries plc. Prenn's shares are valued at £1.26 million.

Floor Care Takes Centre Stage:

  • 1969: Following the split, Truvox Floorcraft remains in the Prenn family, focusing solely on floor care products.
  • Later years: Truvox Floorcraft evolves into Truvox International, a leading global floor care manufacturer.
  • Present day: Truvox International operates under American ownership.

Additional Notes:

  • The exact method by which Prenn acquired the Truvox trademark remains unknown. Speculation suggests it might have been purchased from the liquidated Universal Gramophone & Radio Co., Ltd., but concrete evidence is lacking.
  • While specific dates for some events (like the German floor cleaner machine acquisition) are unclear, the timeline above provides a detailed overview of Truvox's journey, highlighting the important role of floor care products alongside audio equipment
  • Truvox's legacy continues in both sectors, with Celestion Industries carrying on the audio tradition and Truvox International remaining a leader in the floor care industry.

Truvox Tape Recorders:

  • 1951 Development: Truvox made significant strides in the tape recorder industry with the development of a 7" domestic tape deck in 1951. This innovation was not only technically advanced but also incorporated unique materials and design elements. The use of plywood, Formica laminate, and conductive aluminum film showcased Truvox's commitment to quality and innovation in its products.
  • 1952 Launch: The launch of the tape deck in 1952 marked a turning point for Truvox, positioning it as a major player in the DIY tape recorder market. Partnering with Rola-Celestion for marketing and distribution further solidified their presence in the industry. The introduction of accessories like the 'Radio-Jack' plug-in crystal radio receiver expanded Truvox's product offerings, catering to the diverse needs of its customers.
  • 1954 Expansion: Truvox's introduction of their first tape-deck amplifier in 1954 from their Neasden factory signaled a period of expansion and growth for the company. This move not only diversified their product line but also showcased their capabilities in manufacturing high-quality audio equipment.
  • 1956 Mk.III TR7/U Deck: The release of the Mk.III TR7/U deck in 1956 represented a refinement of Truvox's tape recorder technology. Adopting the British/US tracking format demonstrated Truvox's adaptability to evolving industry standards while maintaining its commitment to superior performance and reliability.
  • R1 Tape Recorder: The introduction of the R1 tape recorder in 1956 marked Truvox's first complete tape-recorder offering. Utilizing the advanced Mk.IV deck and paired with the new Truvox 'K' Type amplifier, the R1 represented a comprehensive solution for both DIY enthusiasts and original equipment manufacturers.
  • R6 Tape Recorder: The arrival of the R6 tape recorder in 1959 showcased Truvox's ongoing innovation and design evolution. Featuring a modified deck (MK.VI) with keyboard controls and left-to-right transport, the R6 boasted a sleek and modern aesthetic while maintaining Truvox's signature quality and performance.
  • R7 Auto-reverse: Truvox's foray into auto-reverse tape recorders with the launch of the R7 in 1959 highlighted their commitment to pushing technological boundaries. Despite facing challenges in the market due to pricing, the R7 represented a significant achievement in audio engineering and hi-fi standards.
  • Lo-fi Models: Truvox's venture into budget-friendly tape recorder models in the late 1950s and early 1960s showcased their versatility in catering to diverse customer needs. While some models may have been less impressive in terms of features and performance, Truvox's commitment to affordability and accessibility remained evident.
  • Series 50 Tape Recorder: The introduction of the Series 50 tape recorder in 1967 marked a new chapter for Truvox, with a focus on hi-fi standards and domestic user experience. Despite its high-grade construction and advanced features, the Series 50 faced challenges in gaining significant market share against competitors.
  • Language Laboratories: Truvox's collaboration with The Rank Organisation in 1963 to produce language laboratory decks highlighted their ability to tailor their technology to specific educational needs. Supplying institutions like the RAF in Germany and British universities further solidified Truvox's reputation as a trusted provider of audio equipment for educational purposes.

[1] Wireless & Gramophone Trader Sep 13, 1930, Page 288.
[2] The London Gazette Sep 24, 1937, Page 5978

This manufacturer was suggested by Wolfgang Scheida.

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
GB  59 TA-42 [K] EF86  AC operated tape recorder amplifier. 
GB  59 R2 EF86  The Truvox Model R2 is a Stereo Twin Set, Two Speed, Two Tracks Tape Recorder.Manufactured... 
GB  60 R1 Mark IV EF86  2 Geschwindigkeiten: 9,5cm / 3 3/4inch 19cm / 7 1/2inch Frequenzbe... 
GB  52 Mark 3   Reel to reel tape recorder. German right-to-left, upper track format. Capstan sleeves dete... 
GB  55 Radio Jack   Truvox Radio Jack; Plug-in MW/LW radio receiver. Plugged it into the microphone socke... 
GB  59 Two-directional tape recorder R7   A two-speed two-directional model. Has two sets of heads so that both tracks on the tap... 
GB  68 Series 50 Tape Recorder 52/54   The Truvox Series 50 was a single-motor hi-fi tape recorder with a 5-watt RMS output and t... 
GB  61 Tape Recorder R6   Two Speed Tape Recorder Model Truvox R6. Response: 30 -15000 Hz. 8" x 6" Speaker. &... 
GB  50 C.P.M. 12" Speaker BX11   C.P.M. 12" SPEAKER. The outcome of intensive development by specialist engineers, ... 
GB  64 Stereo Amplifier TSA-100 OC44  Truvox TSA-100 Stereo Amplifier Specifications Inputs: P.U.1 – 25 mV... 
GB  50 12" Heavy Duty Speaker SSI0A   12" HEAVY DUTY Rigid die-cast chassis Square casting for the magnet seating s... 
GB  49 Monobolt Speaker BX Series BX52, BX62, BX82, BX102   MONOBOLT BX series. Unshakably rigid in transit and extended use, the unique constructi... 


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

[1] Wireless & Gramophone Trader Sep 13, 1930, Page 288.tbn_gb_truvox_1_wireless_gramophone_trader_sep_13_1930_page_288.jpg
[2] The London Gazette Sep 24, 1937, Page 5978tbn_gb_truvox_2_the_london_gazette_sep_24_1937_page_5978.jpg
Wireless World Mar 26, 1930, Page Ad 27tbn_gb_truvox_wireless_world_mar_26_1930_page_ad_27.jpg
Wireless & Gramophone Trader Sep 13, 1930, Page 106tbn_gb_truvox_wireless_gramophone_trader_sep_13_1930_page_106.jpg
Wireless World Jul 3, 1929, Page Ad iii.tbn_gb_truvox_wireless_world_jul_3_1929_page_ad_iii.jpg
Radio Times Nov 20, 1929, Page 657.tbn_gb_truvox_radio_times_nov_20_1929_page_657.jpg
Oliver Simon Prenn. Debretts People of Today 1995, Page 1611.tbn_gb_truvox_debretts_people_of_today_1995_page_1611.jpg
Acquiring Radio & Television Trust Ltd 1959. Wireless World Oct 1959, Page 435tbn_gb_truvox_wireless_world_oct_1959_page_435.jpg


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