Console radios, who actually made these ?

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The MILAN

This set has no brand name buit I have found the word MILAN on the escutcheon. The chassis has 5DWA.6C7 stamped into it and the valve line up is as follows:
AK2, AF3, ABC1, AL3, AZ3 (all gold Philips P base tubes) and a 6E5 magic eye.
It is dual wave and has a very fancy speaker box affair that directs the back wave from the speaker to the front of the box.
The ARTS&P ;label identifies it as being made in 1937 and under the chassis there is in pencil OK 12/2/37 and an initial that looks like A L and another letter I cant work out.

Asking around the HRSA memebrs the first suggestions were either a Briton or and Essanay but when I found the cabinet makers name on the bottom of the chassis shelf, we all decided it had to be made in South Australia. The cabinet maker was Hart and Creer Roebuck Street Mile End (SA)

Peoples comments included Vasco, Stromberg Carlson (National in Adelaide in 1937) or Bland Radio (Operatic).
Stephen Savell has identified the Power transformer as being built by Bland Radio. Bland built complete radios under their Operatic brand name andalso built for other companies.

Still passing it around members of the HRSA, Alistairs comments lead me to find out what it was branded:
Bland chassis- (colour, IF cans, transformer, terminals). Have you had a very close look at the Bakelite escutcheon to see if there is not a name lightly engraved on it somewhere? Could be on the surface where it tapers in to the glass. He supplied some of the big department stores - could be Myers, David Jones.

Now armed with this new found knwoledge I cleaned the escutcheon and there hand engraved is the word MILAN.

There is some evidence the MILAN name was used by Miller Anderson, a prominant Adelaide emporium of the day and the chassis were made by Eclipse in Melbourne and fitted to cabinets made in Melbourne. Looking at this example, the cabinet has its South Australian manufacturers name stamped into it and today I received an email with evidence the chassis was made by Bland here in South Austrlia.

Dan Willson, a fellow HRSA member here in South Australia offers the following information. "The "OK - Date - Signature" under the Chassis is very typical of Bland Radio's methods. It is more than likely "ALS" - Arthur L Symonds, who worked for Bland Radio for some 45 years, starting about 1933, then aged 19 years. I spoke to Arthur via phone in 1988 (he died in 1989), and he confirmed this practice, after I had noted the same on all my "Operatic" sets. The reason for doing so, is that should the Radio be returned under Warranty, they would know who performed the final alignment and test. So coupled with the comments of the other people (without seeing the set myself), I would say that it was made by Bland Radio. Arthur did say to me trnsforerhat Bland Radio sold sets to Myers, Stott and Hall plus others, and did not specifically mention Miller Anderson, however, it is possible that they did. Several folk have identified the power Transformer as a Bland product.It is an established fact Bland made his own power transformers and IF coils these could be the key to identifying who made the chassis. Can anyone out there confirm the origin of the IF cans ?.

The Citizen

Looking into the Milan radio made me remember I had another similar console set stored on the mezanine at the office. It is in a lot worse condition but it is still restorable without too much effort. The valve lineup in this one is similar to the Milan: EK2, EF5, EBC3, EL3 (all red Philips P base tubes) and an 80 rectifier.

This set could have been made for John Martins and it may have been manufactured by Eclipse in Melbourne. Looking at the chassis it has welded corners and from what Bob Rundle has said, could have been made by Vasco here in Adelaide! From the ARTS&P label it was made in 1937 also.

Dobbie Radiophone

The small etched brass plate on the back of the cabinet says, Dobbie, noting else, and the dial has the word Radiophone written on it. Bob Rundle pointed me to the book "Adelaide's Early Radios and Tape Recorders by Neville Ellison", where I found a chapter on A.W. Campbell Dobbie. Here it says he was a manufacturer of Claritone and Radiophone radios in 1936. He later made radios under the name Peerless and just after the WW2 he exported 400 Peerless radios to Japan for use by the occupation forces.

The "D" on the RTS&P label indicate it was made in 1937 and then valve line up is typical of this era: 6A7, 6D6, 6C6,42 and a good old 80 Rectifier. If you look at the under chassis view you will notice an inetresting feature. It has a fine tuning control on the Short Wave Osc coil. Sadly not one of this manufacturers radios ever appeared in the AORSM. The only other identifying information written on the back of the chassis is the serial number of H13092 and the number 182 written with a pencil under the chassis.

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Written by and Copyright, Phil. Storr © Last updated 14th February 2011