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Old 19th Nov 2017, 9:44 pm   #1
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Default "Foreign" marked B9A valves

Good evening,
I have been having a look at some later VHF FM valve radios and have found a curiosity. Some Mullard valves are marked British made though the same valve types in other receivers are labelled as foreign made (I.E UABC80, EL84 ECT.).

Does this mean that Mullard UK based factories could not produce the number of valves the set makers required and had to outsource production overseas?

Presumably the "foreign" valves were Philips valves made in Holland with the Mullard logo on them?

I have never seen a "British made" B9A tuning indicator but all seem to be Holland made. Presumably the Philips valve factory was fully geared up to produce all of the tuning indicators (EM80-EM84) that both Philips and Mullard needed for any UK based production line?

Christopher Capener
A proper radio is one that needs to be moved with a wheelbarrow !!
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Old 19th Nov 2017, 10:05 pm   #2
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Default Re: "Foriegn" marked B9a valves

As valve manufacture ran down in the 1960s there was a lot of collaboration between the likes of Philips/Mullard/Mazda - basically they would share out the production amongst each others factories. So one manufacturer would do all the EL84s another would do all the ECF82s and another would do all the EF183s, rather than each manufacturer running a dedicated production-line for all the different valves they needed.

Then brand them with whatever brand a particular market was used to.

Hence Made-in-Holland Mullards, made in England Philips, USA-made Brimars and suchlike.

I always thought it deeply ironic that the British Valve Association - an outfit initially set up to enforce 'protectionism' of the UK industry and deter the sale of imported valves - happily went along with having their participating members labelling valves "BVA - Foreign".
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Old 19th Nov 2017, 11:25 pm   #3
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Default Re: "Foreign" marked B9A valves

I once sold a valve on ebay, to China or Japan? It was a Brimar (can't remember the number), marked BVA and also foreign. He complained bitterly that it was a fake because of the conflicting labels. SO, In a few minutes I found various makes of valves also with this same labeling on google images. I sent him a list of the links. He never replied!
I must admit though, to have BVA and Foreign printed alongside, does not ring true!
I am also interested in and collect 00 model railway.
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Old 19th Nov 2017, 11:43 pm   #4
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Default Re: "Foreign" marked B9A valves

By the late 60s valves could come from anywhere, regardlesss of the branding. Mullard generally just remarked valves from within the Philips group, but other manufacturers sourced them from all over the place.
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Old 20th Nov 2017, 12:22 am   #5
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Default Re: "Foreign" marked B9A valves

At least in the 60’s and early 70’s the valves whatever the place of manufacture were on the whole decent products, middle 70’s onwards was another matter.
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Old 20th Nov 2017, 12:44 pm   #6
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Default Re: "Foreign" marked B9A valves

Some valve types within the Philips group were probably only ever made at one factory, then labelled Mullard, Valvo, Philips etc. according to where they were going to be sold. It sometimes seems to be forgotten in the UK that Mullard was simply a Philips brand name except for the earliest days of the valve era.

BVA didn't mind valves being imported, provided that they were being sold by BVA members at the agreed BVA prices.
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Old 20th Nov 2017, 12:59 pm   #7
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Default Re: "Foreign" marked B9A valves

The same thing used to happen in lighting in the 1960's. One of my fellow students who had worked for one large company (I forget which) told me that his company had an arrangement with another major company. His company made only fluorescent tubes, and the other company made only GLS bulbs. They changed the stamps according to which company the products were destined for, but other than their markings, the products were identical.

Last edited by emeritus; 20th Nov 2017 at 1:04 pm.
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Old 20th Nov 2017, 1:11 pm   #8
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Default Re: "Foreign" marked B9A valves

Mullard valves from Philips were normally marked 'Made in Holland'. 'Foreign' generally meant eastern Europe. I believe a lot of late Mullards came from Tungsram in Hungary.
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Old 20th Nov 2017, 9:42 pm   #9
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Default Re: "Foreign" marked B9A valves

That could be verified by looking at the 2 lines of small symbols along the bottom side. One sign of being made in Eastern Europe could be the omission of those lines. If the lines are present, the first character of the second line translates to the original factory within (and sometimes outside) the Philips group.
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