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Vintage Radio (domestic) Domestic vintage radio (wireless) receivers only.

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Old 18th Jun 2021, 2:02 pm   #1
stevehertz
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Default Department store radios

Inspired by the current post about the unknown radio - most probably a Barkers Department store one - what other department stores sold radios ostensibly under their own name/brand but manufactured for them by a CEM? It would be interesting to create a list or small knowledge base.
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Old 18th Jun 2021, 2:12 pm   #2
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Default Re: Department store radios

What about the Jonell radios sold from the 1940s to the 1950s for the John Lewis stores, these too were made by Plessey and were built on a similar brief to the Barker 88 sets.
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Old 18th Jun 2021, 2:43 pm   #3
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Default Re: Department store radios

"Defiant" - sold by stores of the Co-Op - is the first one that comes to mind.

"Westminster" was the in-house brand for Currys in the immediate post-war period; Plessey made a lot of the insides, with cabinets bought-in from the High Wycombe furniture-trade.
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Old 18th Jun 2021, 4:47 pm   #4
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Default Re: Department store radios

JG Graves, a jewellers shop in Sheffield I believe - essentially a rebranded Raymond electric F17. Most beautiful radio dial ever made imo
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Old 18th Jun 2021, 11:06 pm   #5
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Default Re: Department store radios

JG Graves was the Argos of its day, quite literally, as they were taken over by Universal, who also took over Argos..who ironically ended up with Bush as its in-house radio/tv brand.
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Old 19th Jun 2021, 7:47 am   #6
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Default Re: Department store radios

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe001 View Post
JG Graves, a jewellers shop in Sheffield I believe - essentially a rebranded Raymond electric F17. Most beautiful radio dial ever made imo
Any relation to the early Graves Vulcan radio?
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Old 19th Jun 2021, 8:10 am   #7
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Default Re: Department store radios

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehertz View Post

Any relation to the early Graves Vulcan radio?
Yes Steve, same company as far as I’m aware. They were a very successful mail order company which sold a wide range of goods. I believe some of the radio sets may have been sold as kits, but I might be mistaken.

Here is a picture of my late ‘30’s JG Graves ‘Aeriel AC Superhet’.


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Old 19th Jun 2021, 9:12 am   #8
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Default Re: Department store radios

I don't know if they would be classed as a department store as such but Boots sold a lot of Transistor radios as "Boots audio". cheap imports mostly as I remember.
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Old 19th Jun 2021, 9:22 am   #9
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Default Re: Department store radios

Here is a photo of what I believe could be the earliest J.G.Graves valve radio (incomplete, note J.G.G. on panel). I have definitely seen an advert by Graves for this set in a mid-20's radio magazine I have somewhere, unable to locate it at present.
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Old 19th Jun 2021, 9:55 am   #10
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Default Re: Department store radios

Quote:
Originally Posted by slidertogrid View Post
Boots sold a lot of Transistor radios as "Boots audio". cheap imports mostly as I remember.
Probably so later on, but early examples came from Perdio

https://vintage-radio.net/forum/showthread.php?t=49145

and Philips...

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...ad.php?t=61261

Among definite department stores, Gamages offered quite a number of radios under their own name in the '20s and after. Seems RM Electric of Gateshead were manufacturing for them around 1950:

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?t=141167

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Old 19th Jun 2021, 10:13 am   #11
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Default Re: Department store radios

I'm not sure if Derwent would qualify; they had a retail outlet. Another Raymond f17, with a custom dial.
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Old 19th Jun 2021, 11:15 am   #12
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Default Re: Department store radios

Department stores, retail outlets, shops, they're all of interest.
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Old 19th Jun 2021, 11:20 am   #13
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Default Re: Department store radios

Spinney was a Littlewoods / Kays / Index brand for lots of things including radios. This one was made by perdio.
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Old 19th Jun 2021, 12:48 pm   #14
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Default Re: Department store radios

Most of the American catalogue companies & larger department stores offered radios under their own branding.
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Old 19th Jun 2021, 1:20 pm   #15
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Default Re: Department store radios

Gamage radios from Gamage's department store in London. (closed 1970's)

Barkers as already mentioned, must say I have not encountered a Selfridge or Harrod radio perhaps not the right clientele

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Old 19th Jun 2021, 2:16 pm   #16
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Default Re: Department store radios

Not strictly a department store but with their own brands was Currys.

Early sets were branded Currys then later Westminster.

May have been others.

Cheers

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Old 19th Jun 2021, 3:10 pm   #17
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Default Re: Department store radios

Yes I've got one of the huge PWR2 Westminster Bakelite Radios [1947]. There's a few threads on it, like Old Geezers in 2014 where I said I'd seen one sold at £60 [another offered at £300] but that seemed ridiculous. I'd not paid very much, maybe probably less than £10. I don't think I knew the Curry's background then but it's confirmed on Radio Museum. As Steve said they are all of interest. A chain store was not the same as a Department one but the definition goes to it being a home brand product I suppose. Ferranti is a bit of an anomaly perhaps. They did heavy engineering of course but the Radios they once seemed to dabble with were their own brand.

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Old 19th Jun 2021, 5:50 pm   #18
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Default Re: Department store radios

The first radio I knew was a Westminster CTA5350, my grandmother's set, which I still have lurking somewhere: it became unreliable in about '68 and lost its place on her sideboard to a Fidelity Rad 11.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave walsh View Post
Ferranti is a bit of an anomaly perhaps. They did heavy engineering of course but the Radios they once seemed to dabble with were their own brand.

Dave W
Is there a department store connection for Ferranti? I suspect their radio involvement began with transformers, but the radio and TV division became a serious part of the business for a few decades until Ekco took it over: I think I've read (The Setmakers?) that at least in the last few years it was stubbornly unprofitable.
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Old 20th Jun 2021, 10:18 am   #19
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Default Re: Department store radios

I was very surprised to find this Boots Audio TR600 radio is a clone of the ITT Colt
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Old 20th Jun 2021, 10:28 am   #20
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Default Re: Department store radios

Was Matsui a brand of Dixons, and I think Currys had their own brand of transistor radios, cant remember what they were called. I think they may have been clones of the Dixons models. It made price matching difficult as they were different models.
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