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Valve Ephemera: Mazda Valve Boxes

Side 1Side 2Side 3Side 1

Side 1Side 2Side 1Side 3

Late 1960's Valve box
Changing to the bolder, but simpler black and blue design with the "Big-M" logo - this is quite effective.  The now common customer panel is present.
Early 1960's Valve box
One of the far better wrap-around designs using three simple colours (red, blue and black).  During this period AEI used the same design with Ediswan valve boxes.  Side four is stamped with the valve details. Impossibly pointed valve top would get easily broken off.
1950's Valve box
Ah that's better the good old Mazda logo. What lovely indented corners reminiscent of older times.  I also have samples of sides 3 being blank (like side 2 without the info sticker), and other samples where side 3 has an info sticker covering what looks like a guarantee.

Valve Ephemera: Mazda Catalogues

This catalogue shows that in mid-sixties, Mazda was pushing the "Big-M" logo, but didn't apparently care what colour it was.  Whilst black in the valve boxes above, white was OK too.
A pure data book, avoiding prices by asking you to contact their appropriate service depot. The intro states that a separate semiconductor booklet is available on request - keeping those new fangled things very much apart.  Contents includes new types of valves.

Maintenance Sales Dept.
Thorn-AEI Radio Valves & Tubes Ltd
155 Charing Cross Road
London WC2

Ref Nos. TAEI/M/2C and WPG. 40M 8/64


Valve Ephemera: Mazda Factories
Some of these shots are the early Ediswan (Edison Swan)  factories that were taken over by Mazda in the early 1960s.

This 1958 photograph is from  part of the valve mass production assembly line at one of the old Siemens Ediswan Sunderland Factories.

This is reprinted in the 1964/5 Ediswan Pictures captioned "Assembling Mazda valves at Sunderland "A" Factory"!

I count at least thirty lines of 14 workers - meaning there must have been at least 420 people in one room!  How did they all clock out?


Photo from the 1964 Mazda Data Book.

"Quantity production of Mazda CME1903 picture tubes at Sunderland 'B' Factory"

This CRT was a 19" rectangular face screen.  The heater was 0.3A, 6.3V and it boasted: Short neck, 110? deflection, electrostatic focus, straight gun, external 'dag, aluminised screen, grey glass with a light transmission of 75%.

I'm not totally sure what this huge machine was but the large bed obviously slid inside.  It may have been an oven for curing the phosphor coating or something.  Any ideas out there?

Ken, who worked in the Ediswan plant from the 1950s to the 1970s has supplied some fascinating memories and leaflet text.

"This picture is of a gas fired lehr [a moving annealing kiln - Ed].  This was part of the process where after aluminising the coated bulbs were baked to remove all volatiles before the electron gun was fitted.   The view is of the loading end of the lehr and the bulbs are sitting on a continuous wire belt which carried them through the hot zones out to the unloading end which looked much the same as this view."
And from the manufacturing description leaflet:

"Final Baking
The bulb, with its neck still open, is finally placed on a moving belt which carries it slowly through a 40 yard long Lehr. The temperature in the hottest zone is 400 deg C and the process takes 2? hours. It performs two functions:

   a) thoroughly dries out all moisture
   b) evaporates the lacquer film, leaving the aluminised backing suspended on high spots of phosphor."

Thanks Ken!

Photo from the 1964 Mazda Data Book.

"Mazda Twin Panel CME1906 picture tubes coming off the panelling line"

This CRT was a 19" rectangular face all glass twin panel screen.  The heater was 0.3A, 6.3V and it boasted: Short neck, 110? deflection, electrostatic focus, straight gun, external 'dag, aluminised screen, grey glass bulb and panel with a light transmission of 65%.

A page from the 1964 Mazda data book boasts of its great (bought) heritage.

Sixty Years Back

"Professor Sir. Ambrose Fleming and is original diode valve, made in the Edison Swan (later Mazda) factory at Ponders End near London in 1904.  Professor Fleming was Technical Consultant to the Edison Swan Company at the time.  It was this close co-operation between University and Factory which resulted in the first radio valve in the world."