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Lafayette - the Japanese connection

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Forum » Manufacturer's / brands history » MANUFACTURERS and TRADE NAMES (present in the museum) » Lafayette - the Japanese connection
           
Clive Forder
Clive Forder
 
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16.Sep.13 18:10

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This interesting Lafayette FS-103  valve/tube set has recently come up for Ebay sale. (Ebay item 271278544065). I am having great difficulty finding out anything about it. On the backboard it has "Japan". I was aware of the 1960's Trio/Lafayette link but this set is clearly much earlier - 1940's? What is the earliest year that we have for Lafayette sourcing from Japan? Or was there a licence deal with a particular Japanese manufacturer?

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Clive Forder
Clive Forder
 
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17.Sep.13 18:59

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My mystery set is in fact a Lafeyette-branded Japanese Sharp model 5M-67 five valve superhet made from 1955-56. Some time ago, researching other Japanese sets,  a Google search led me to the pages of the excellent Japanese Radio Museum. It covers all aspects of radio in Japan from the dawn of interest onwards. Their model collection can be browsed online - www japanradiomuseum.jp

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Ernst Erb
Ernst Erb
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25.Sep.13 04:24

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Dear Clive
For Lafayette USA I have searched for all the radio catalogs from before WW2 and bought them. Then I worked through them by creating the models from the data in the catalogs, scanning and preparing the pictures and uploaded them and for each catalog I started an article plus some main articles to form a framework for Lafayette.

As you can see here, I followed up to later years, but I did not find a connection to Japan.

You might ask our member Tadanobu Okabe, who shows a nice banner link to us and has written the English country text for Japan.

You have also begun a collection page by creating a model ICF-32 for Sony. At the moment you have not selected the front picture for your set in your collection or profile. It was also not the first photo uploaded for that model page and therefore your collection page shows only a part of that model. I'm sure you will select the picture you like of the ones you loaded to the model.

My suggestion would be to create a Sharp model 5M-67 for Japan and a Lafayette FS-103 for USA.

At that time it was often the case that US manufacturers and US brands ordered at least some of their models from Japan. It is good to write the origin in the notes. You are most welcome to enlarge our collection for any country or brand. We miss active members who would help to do the same I have done for Lafayette USA. John Kusching (USA) would be most glad to provide information on which brand to begin with and could also send catalogs or other information for doing this. He is the most active member in the USA.

Anyway: Thank you for your participation!

Michael Watterson
 
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25.Sep.13 16:39

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There were (and are) OEM makers that never sell under their own badge. HTC used to do this with phones.

New Hope Electronics (Japan) appears to have supplied Shira, TEC (Tokio Electronics), Binatone and Shewa Bros. Pye sold Pye, Ekco and Invicta models made by Japanese companies, as well as having their own Hong Kong factory (Empire Made) from early 1960s.

Before EMI / HMV took over the Marconi/Marconiphone domestic brand in late 1920s or early 1930s, Plessey made many Marconi sets. They made most of the Defiant sets for Co-op. They may have made many "Westminster" sets for Currys and made a virtually identical set for Ever Ready and EMI (Marconiphone branded). Many Lissen/Ever Ready sets used same Chassis as Pye Models 1935 to 1938.  Conversely eventually all Mullard Radios from later 1930s are mostly really Philips as Philips owned Mullard from 1928. Similarly some 1950s Schaub-Lorenz and Kolster Brandes sets are very similar as ITT owned both for a very long time before rebranding to ITT.

There is was never a connection at all between Ever Ready, Plessey, Marconi, Cossor, Pye, Co-op during the period 1919 to 1950 other than OEM (Industry contractor and customer) even though some identical chassis  and near identical Models.

So two identical models may simply mean the same OEM source or one maker sold to the other, and no connection between the companies other than supplier and customer. This also applies to valves/tubes with Philips/Mullard buying US tubes and rebranding Amerity. RCA and Sylvania also produced tubes for each other.

Apple sues Samsung over phones yet the 1st iPhone used Samsung designed ARM CPU and current iPhone has much Samsung value parts including CPU.  Companies buy often where they get the best deal and all makers "outsource" from time to time even to "retail enemies". 

So we can "read nothing into" two identical models from different Brands. Sometimes makers have even delibrately copied a competitor in a different market (with or without a licence!) in their own manufacturing.

 

 

 

Clive Forder
Clive Forder
 
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25.Sep.13 17:22

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Thank you both for adding to the discussion. Unless I am mistaken, I already have model proposal pending for the Lafeyette FS-103. Lafeyette as a radio manufacturer has  fine pedigree, certainly. But possibly post-WW2, like so many other now defunct US radio marques, when facing market loss due to Japanese encroachment into their home market, they may well have decided to attempt to cooperate with their Japanese competitors. So by branding a set as "Lafayette" its entry into the US market would be eased. May I mention another example of Lafeyette re-branding a Japanese set. I have in my own collection a Sansei Hi-Mood FM set, RMorg model No.239666. I then noticed the same radio branded as a Lafayette on Ebay sale and successfully proposed it for a model page - No.239945. So I was not surprised to see a Japanese sourced Lafayette with the FS-103. But I really thought that the FS-103, with its lacquered wooden case, was very much earlier - 1950 at the very latest. But now it does not appear so strange - look at the 1956 wooden-cased Sony TR-72 Gendis for example. So I started this thread thinking that I might have discovered a possible late-1940's or even earlier Japanese Lafayette link.

 

 

  
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