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Old 20th Jun 2006, 4:35 pm   #1
Mach One
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Default What was Stella?

In the Fifties era, Stella made radios that seem to me to have been re-badged Philips radios.

Does anyone know who Stella were and why they existed, rebadging these Philips chassis?

Just curious...
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Old 20th Jun 2006, 4:39 pm   #2
JoshWard
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Default Re: What was Stella?

I think Philips owned Stella. Many were similar to Philips sets but were normally cheaper and not so advanced. Josh.
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Old 20th Jun 2006, 4:52 pm   #3
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Default Re: What was Stella?

Stella was a brand used by Philips. Philips branded sets were sold exclusively through Philips approved dealers, whereas Stella were sold in department stores and through wholesalers etc. Philips also acquired the rights to use the Cossor name in the 50s.

Electrically the sets from the different "brands" were often identical, with differences in the cabinet design etc.
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Old 21st Jun 2006, 10:16 pm   #4
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Default Re: What was Stella?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshWard
Many were similar to Philips sets but were normally cheaper and not so advanced. Josh.
Not always true Josh. Most times as Paul says, they were identical but with cabinet variations.

Philips like many manufacturers of the time had 'exclusive dealers' and the sets were sold at premium prices. However to reach a 'wider audience' many manuafacturers used a second brand that was available to wholesalers and therefore could be bought and sold by any dealer. So whilst protecting the main brand through the exclusive dealer network, they also made money by selling similar sets of the second brand through wholesalers. Sometimes the sets had a slightly reduced spec but most times it was a cosmetic change that enabled the price to be reduced (wood cabinet as opposed to Bakelite for example or maybe a pushbutton tone control instead of variable).


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Old 21st Jun 2006, 10:36 pm   #5
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Default Re: What was Stella?

This practice went on for many years remember the great Ferguson/Logik/Ultra swindle? where independent dealers were conned into buying the same stock twice!?
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Old 21st Jun 2006, 11:14 pm   #6
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Default Re: What was Stella?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_Newman
Sometimes the sets had a slightly reduced spec but most times it was a cosmetic change that enabled the price to be reduced (wood cabinet as opposed to Bakelite for example .
Weren't bakelite sets actually cheaper than wooden cased ones in the 50s? I have vague memories from my childhood of them being viewed in this way.

How times change

My experience has been that Stella sets were Philips models with cosmetic changes.

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Old 21st Jun 2006, 11:31 pm   #7
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Question Re: What was Stella?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach One
In the Fifties era, Stella made radios that seem to me to have been re-badged Philips radios.

Does anyone know who Stella were and why they existed, rebadging these Philips chassis?

Just curious...
Long, long time ago, it was suggested to me that since Philips wanted to distribute thier products under a different name - as several members have said here - the name "Stella" was dreamed up by Philips marketing on the basis that the Philips logo features a star (you've all seen it, yeah ) So, star = stella . . .

Sounds highly plausible to me!

Al / G8DLH
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Old 22nd Jun 2006, 9:33 am   #8
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Default Re: What was Stella?

Often, Philips and stella comparable sets used identical chassis - but not always, as I pointed out in my article in the most recent 'Radio Bygones', where a relatively basic Philips became an even more basic Stella (poorer mechanicals, simpler tone control, Bakelite casing)*, so I guess it is fair to say that 'Stella' branded Philips were intended for the general shops (club card payment, long HP terms, sell you anything from a bike to a three piece suite) whilst Philips own brand was reserved for the trade specialists. This may account for the mostly undeserved dislike of 'Stella' brand. Or perhaps it is because the 'Stella' sets were around during the unfashionable, declining period of valve radio.
*Despite the 'superior' wooden cabinet of the Philips version, the Stella looks far nicer IMHO.
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Old 22nd Jun 2006, 9:44 am   #9
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Default Re: What was Stella?

Not quite the original question but was Stellavox related to Philips/Stella? I think Stellavox made professional audio tape recorders that rivalled Nagra.
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Old 22nd Jun 2006, 10:11 am   #10
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Default Re: What was Stella?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppppenguin
.... was Stellavox related to Philips/Stella? I think Stellavox made professional audio tape recorders that rivalled Nagra.
There was probably some connection here with Magnavox, which I believe was yet another brand which came under the Philips umbrella.
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Old 22nd Jun 2006, 12:33 pm   #11
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Default Re: What was Stella?

Quote:
Originally Posted by darren-uk
Magnavox, which I believe was yet another brand which came under the Philips umbrella.
Yes it was but in the American market where they were not allowed to sell under the 'Philips' brand because it was already used by someone else.


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Old 22nd Jun 2006, 12:37 pm   #12
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Default Re: What was Stella?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin
Weren't bakelite sets actually cheaper than wooden cased ones in the 50s? I have vague memories from my childhood of them being viewed in this way.
Yes you are probably right Paul, although Philips sold a fair few Bakelite sets in the fifties.


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Old 22nd Jun 2006, 12:53 pm   #13
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Default Re: What was Stella?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_Newman
Yes you are probably right Paul [about bakelite variants being cheaper], although Philips sold a fair few Bakelite sets in the fifties.
Nothing to do with Stella, but a good example is the Murphy U198/U598, identical radios apart from the 598 wooden case. The 598 cost almost £3 more, a significant sum in the late 50s.

http://www.murphy-radio.co.uk/dungeo...eon4.html#1957

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Old 24th Jun 2006, 6:06 am   #14
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Default Re: What was Stella?

Hello,

Stella Radio & Television Company Ltd, Oxford House, 9-15 Oxford Street, London W1 (in 1951 & 55). At Astra House, 121-3 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2 (in 1960 & 62). The wholesale brand for Philips consumer electronics products – set up in 1951. In 1951, Philips also had another Stella subsidiary – The Stella Lamp Co Ltd. The Stella Lamp Co Ltd was originally called the Harlesden Lamp Co Ltd and acquired by Philips in 1930.The Stella brand ceased to be used around the time Philips acquired Pye.

Magnavox Corporation (USA). Established circa 1908, to make loudspeakers (means in Latin “big voice”). Later diversified into industrial and defence electronics. After WW2 moved into consumer electronics. In 1974 was taken over by The North American arm of Philips (Holland). In 1960, Magnavox Electronics Ltd was established, at 129 Mount Street, London, W1 – to market products manufactured under subcontract in the UK. In 1962, Magnavox owned Collaro (UK) and the UK company became Magnavox Electronics Company. Magnavox Electronics Co Ltd, Alfred’s Way, Bypass Road, Barking, Essex (in 1964).

The North American brand name used for Philips products was Norelco.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Dazzlevision
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Old 24th Jun 2006, 9:56 pm   #15
slidertogrid
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Default Re: What was Stella?

I have A 1950s Stella Radiogram with a philips autochanger the gurantee card gives Stellas address as Purley way , wasnt Philips 604 Purley way? seems they were the same firm...or neighbors!?
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Old 25th Jun 2006, 6:23 am   #16
dazzlevision
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Default Re: What was Stella?

Hello,

The Philips service organisation was located at 604 Purley Way, Croydon, CR9 4DR for many years - certainly from the early 1960s.

It had various name changes over the years:-

Philips Central Service Department (Philips & Stella)

Amalgamated Electric Services (absorbing Cossor, ADA, Ajax, Peto Scott)

Combined Electronic Services (absorbing Pye, Ekco, Invicta, Pam & Ferranti)

Philips Service (to reflect "the Philips corporate identity").

The site closed circa 1990, when all UK spares were supplied from Eindhoven in Holland.

The Philips UK HQ was, for many years, at Century House, Shaftesbury Avenue, London.

Regards,

Dazzlevision
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