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Guest book 2002-3 

One nice thing about running a web site is the numerous emails you get from people interested in the same things as you.  Aside from the "how much is it worth" requests I get some very useful information and some lovely stories that add depth to the dry images and descriptions of Vintage Technology.  Please be aware that your email to me could end up in this page without your specific request not to (please request removal if offended).   Comments in [] are edited out by me.

 

Name: Ian Dyer
Loc:   UK
Date:   October 2003
Subject: Whiteley Stentorian Baffle Speakers
Link: WB Speakers
URL:  
Msg:  Emil,
I came across your site whilst doing a search. One page on your site is a print of a flyer for the above speaker. I work for Whiteley's, ( yes it's still going ). I have been there since 1968. I have a good collection of old Whiteley flyers if you are interested. By the way, you question the "WB" logo. That stood for "Whiteley Boheman". When Mr Whiteley first began the company in 1926, he rented a single production room in a local factory that was called Boheman and Turners. Mr Boheman of B and T invested cash in the company.
The company is now trading under the name Whiteley Electronics Limited and works mainly in the transport passenger information systems business.
Regards
Reply: Thanks very much for the info.
I would dearly love to have some memories and snippets in the form of an article for my history section (fully credited and copyrighted to yourself of course). I could not pay you as the site is there to promote the interest of vintage technology and is just a hobby. It sounds like you could write a real insider's story. I can offer plenty of help editing and tuning (but judging by the grammar and syntax of your email, you probably don't need it) before putting it on the web.
By the amount of hits I get on these pages it is obviously of great interest to a large number of people - are you up for it?
Reply: Emil,
Thanks for the email acknowledgment. Regarding the suggested article, certainly sir. I am also a fellow vintage technology hobbyist, mostly on the radio side so I would not contemplate fees.
With the company being 77 years young and a product history that runs from radio kits for the home builder in the 30's, full size harps for the LPO in the 40's, Dalek  voices for Dr Who exhibitions in the 70's, through to modern day sophisticated systems such as the Channel Tunnel Pubic Address System (still the largest integrated public address system in the world), there is plenty of material to go at.
I have a good collection of photographic and printed work, so illustrations to aid interest would be no problem. I will revisit your site and do some research on your history section, then let me come back to you with some suggestions for the article before I blaze away.
Contact you soon
Ian

Name: John Nurse
Loc:   Milwaukee, USA
Date:   September 2003
Subject: Cossor Loctal Valves
Link:
URL:  
Msg:  Good afternoon Emil, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting you site, and learnt a lot about British vintage radio's. I have a question for you, which has a bit of a preamble to it. I have lived in Milwaukee Wisconsin USA for about 30 years, but grew - up in Frimley Surrey. I recently purchased a Cossor 500 table top radio, circa 1950. The reason I bought it was that my late Father was a tool and die make at Cossor in the 40's and 50's, and we wanted to find something to remember him by. Anyway, come to find out that the Cossor 500 used Loctal valves. Up until then, I thought Loctal valves (7 prefix) were mainly used in US car radio's, and were made by companies such as Philco, RCA, GE, Sylvania etc. Although the valves are labeled Cossor, I don't think they could have justified the cost of the tool - up to make them themselves, and they are possibly made by a US company which labeled them for Cossor? Can you shed any light on this? I look forward to hearing from you. Best Regards, John Nurse
Reply: Hello John
Thank you very much for your kind words. It's a bit a labour of love and I have ten times the material to put on, but do not get enough time! I think your remembrance item of a radio is a fine idea - something tactile that the grandchildren can relate to as well.
You have underestimated the strength of Cossor at that time, here is some info that may help...
AC Cossor Ltd, of Highbury, North London, descended from a firm founded in 1859 as makers of thermometers and barometers - the head being an Australian, W. R. Bullimore. The link is the side that made specialist glass structures. Their first true valve (R-type) was issued in 1922.
Cossor began to make complete radio sets in 1930 after the success of their "Melody Maker" kits. By 1933 they were even making oscilloscopes and had a 20% share in the UK valve (or tubes) market. In 1934 after great success with their radios they expanded into a site at Leyton.
In 1936 a small Victorian house near their Highbury Grove site was used to develop specialized VHF receiver (i.e. the very first radar) for the (impending) war effort. This year is also memorable in that Cossor showed its first 13 1/2" TV (with their own CRT).
After the war, Cossor continued to manufacture radios and TVs for some while and even opened a separate company continuing its radar operations.
By the mid 1950s, however, as the whole industry struggled, they were taken over by Philips.
You are right, the Loctal was an American lead (in 1938) quickly followed by European manufacturers as many US sets found there way here after the war. If your radio is 1950s I suspect it is a GT-Octal.
I need to look harder for the "500" as the 500-series spans from about 1954 to 1958.
If you want to see roughly where the Cossor main factory was do a search for "Highbury Grove" as a London street on www.streetmap.co.uk
Hope that is of some use to you - I had fun checking out these details and now I want to make a web page from this as they are so interesting !!
Best regards
Reply: Hi Emil, thank you very much for the information. Last night it suddenly dawned on me that if Cossor did not make their Loctal valves, maybe it was Brimar, who then labeled them for Cossor? This thought was triggered by one of the Brimar ads you have posted where they show a Loctal valve. The mystery thickens! The 500AC I purchased is shown on your Cossor ad page from 1951, and I'm pretty sure that this is a good date. Its the Deluxe version with the wood case, which sold for the princely sum of 21 Pounds, 12 Shillings, and 3 Pence. This seems to be quite expensive for the day. Subsequently there was the 501, and 502 which I think came out in 1952 and 1953. The valve line-up and circuit remained the same for the 501, but I think the valves were changed to 8 pin miniature glass ones, like EL41 in the 502? When the 500AC arrives it will undergo restoration, and surgery. The restoration will be as you would expect, in replacing suspect caps, resistors, bad tubes, oops valves, and alignment, and elbow grease for the wood cabinet. The surgery will be to replace the drop through power transformer with one with a 120 volt primary. Fortunately my stash of "bits" collected over the years has revealed a suitable one. I did think about using a 120 / 240 external isolation transformer, but decided it would be an awkward solution. You may be interested to know that Local valves are most plentiful in the US, and NOS (new old stock) ones can be purchased for as little as $1.50. For what its worth, a good friend of mine recently gave me a bucket full of used American manufactured loctal valves. This gift will result in many hours of sorting and testing. Fortunately my Hickok 800 tube tester has a socket and settings for most Loctal valves. After I finish the restoration I'll probably try to find Cossor or Brimar labeled valves for it so that it has a British valve line - up. I'll let you know how the restoration turned out. Best Regards, and thanks again for your help John

Name: Eric Chapman
Loc:   UK
Date:   August 2003
Subject: Old TVs
Link: Ultra V470
URL:   www.chapman651.freeserve.co.uk/ink_drawings/index.html
Msg:  Hi Emil, was very interested in your photo and description of the Ultra TV. You seem to suggest it could receive "Stations", and I wonder if it had a radio section. I worked on the T22 Ultra TV in the early 50s as a fledging engineer, and remember it used 'lethal EHT' using a mains transformer - very lethal. I also remember it used a T41 Mazda thyratron valve - all Ultras used Mazda valves! If I should find any literature concerning this TV I'll pass it on to you. Regards Eric Chapman
Reply: You are right (it took me a while to find it though).  This is an error inherited from an earlier page.  This was a single-tuned receiver so only received BBC1 and no other TV or radio stations.  Thanks for that, I'll correct it in a few days.  Cheers!

Name: Jon Read
Loc:   UK
Date:   May 2003
Subject: Commodore 796M Calculator
Link: 796M
URL:  
Msg:  Emil,
Just a quick email.  Very interesting website - thanks for the effort you've put into it!
I note on your page for the Commodore 796M you ask if the raised lettering ever had highlights.  I have a mint condition example of this calc, and both the Commodore text and logo are printed with silver highlights.
Cheers,
Jon
Reply: Useful info - thanks!

Name: Michael Carr
Loc:   UK
Date:   April 2003
Subject: Sutton Coldfield TV broadcast
Link:
URL:  
Msg:  Hello Emil,
What a super website! I've spent ages poring over it and find it fascinating, especially the section on elderly radiograms. I remember most of them from when I was a small boy in the late 40's and early 50's, gazing into shop windows and longing desperately for one of these leviathan instruments. (A family friend had the large Alba which you use as a thumbnail). In the last 20 years or so, I have been through a selection of these desirable instruments, usually bought for peanuts at auctions and am currently running a Dynatron "Berkeley" from 1955/6 (288gns then, ?10 in 1998!). Of course, one is still waiting for a "Decola" to materialize at a bargain price!
In the tv section, you mention the Sutton Coldfield transmitter, giving the opening date as 1952 - or have I read it incorrectly? Sutton Coldfield was operating before this and the date I have running through my mind is 17th December 1949 - a week or so before Christmas. Kettering, where I then lived, was just within the Midlands transmitter area and I remember my family being invited to watch Boxing Night television on a wealthy friend's newly acquired 9" Philips set.
Please be assured that your website has given me (and other people, I'm sure) a great deal of pleasure and I shall return to it time and time again in the future!
With all best wishes, Mike Carr
Reply: Dear Michael
Many many thanks for your kind words. It reminds me so well of why I started the damn thing in the first place! I used to get so frustrated trying to find details of items I picked up, I resolved that doing it myself was the only way.
Ah, If only I didn't have to go to work - then I could really get it going ;-)
You may very well be right on the SC dates. I'll go back and check my references as they may be referring to particular transmission dates - I'll get back to you.

Name: Judith Gregory
Loc:   Wales
Date:   February 2003
Subject: Lammix Food Processor !!!
Link: Lammix
URL:  
Msg:  I live on Anglesey and today I am cleaning up my mother's Lammix food Processor ready for its journey to the Greek Island of Paros, where it is going to take pride of place in my daughter's kitchen!!!
Yes, this is the very same Lammix illustrated on your site, and it was purchased in 1946 at the Hotel & Catering Exhibition in Blackpool which my parents were visiting after they bought a hotel in Bournemouth!
My mother is now 94 and came to live with us two years ago.  The Lammix has been packed away carefully in boxes since 2001.  Today we unpacked it, plugged it in and switched it on to see if it was still working before the transportation takes place.  It worked first time at a flick of the switch on the front!
Just thought you might like to know there there is still a Lammix Food Processor in existence and it is still being used today and working well! 
Regards
Reply: How cool is that - thanks very much for sharing the memory.

Name: Fraser Addies
Loc:   Scotland
Date:   April 2003
Subject: Sangamo Advert
Link: Sangamo Timer
URL:  
Msg:  Dear Emil,
My name is Fraser Addies and I am the Managing Director of Sangamo Limited up in Scotland.
I came across your site and the advert you have dug out from the 50s.
You may be surprised to hear that we still manufacture 50,000 of these old clocks a year and it still is commonly used by the electrical contractors due to it?s high degree of reliability with products lasting 20-30 years. The oldest recorded was 38 years when we had our last competition.
It is called the Round Pattern Time Switch or RPTS and is still the mainstay of the company and the SANGAMO brand. We have made minimal adaptation to the original design and would be pleased to send you a product if you would be interested.
Although many electronic products have come into the market offering more functionality and smaller packages many contactors have come to trust the product that they replace like for like if one does fail on circuit. In fact the product is cleverly designed that it?s possible to change the internal mechanics without taking the base off the wall and removing all the wires from the circuit.
As a relative newcomer to the business and not a mechanical designer by trade I am still fascinated by the Solar Timeswitches in the RPTS range which automatically adjust switching times depending on the time of year through a series of cams and levers. Perfect for outside lighting applications.
Another amazing find was that we still use drawings produced in the 1940s to manufacture the products and specify components from suppliers!
We have come full circle in the last 25 years having changed name in 1976 as we were acquired by a large multi-national but recently became a privately owned business at the end of 2002 and became Sangamo once more.
Everyone at Sangamo intends to keep the RPTS going for as long as customers want it and look forward to many more years of satisfying demand for what is truly a unique, historical product line ? if not yet a museum piece.
Best regards
Fraser Addies
Managing Director
Sangamo Limited.
Reply: How very nice to here from the company that originally did the timer - and how great that it still exists and is still producing it.  It's this sort of email that is just the business!  Many thanks Fraser and good luck with the company!

Name: Graham Green
Loc:   UK
Date:   February 2003
Subject: Wondergram
Link: Wondergram
URL:  
Msg:  Hello Emil!
What a great site you have!   I've had 3 of these in the last ten years and they're great little machines.  They actually don't take that much battery power.
The cartridge with integral stylus is unique to the machine.  I bought the second one with no cartridge, just to have one, about 5 years ago, knowing that I would never find a replacement.
One day I was working in a particular area and wandered down one street just for a bit of nostalgia.  There was a shop and I went in, started talking to the owner and somehow the conversation drifted round to the Wondergram and it's unique cartridge.  Hold on, he said, disappeared into the back and came back with a mint cartridge.  Turned out he'd bought ten (!!)  a few years before, knowing how impossible they would be to find. It was the best ?45 I'd spent for ages.
I think the more modern type you refer to en passant is the tuneburger. These suddenly resurfaced everywhere about five or six years ago, red & black plastic if I remember correctly and were selling for an average of ?150.
Reply: Many thanks for your kind words and interesting story.  Cheers!

Name: Mike Brown
Loc:   UK
Date:   January 2003
Subject: Wenvoe
Link: Wenvoe
URL:   http://tx.mb21.co.uk/gallery/
Msg:  Hi Emil,
I have just discovered your page about Wenvoe after searching for information about the site using Google. Great page and just what I was looking for.
I have now added a link to it from the Wenvoe page of my Transmitter Gallery at [above URL] as I'm sure it will interest many people who look at my site.
Reply: Hello Mike
What a pleasure to see such a well-designed, and great content web site. Please feel free to copy whatever you want in terms of images, text, pages or whatever into your web site from mine. I must get around to finishing the stats for TV licences some time!!!

Name: Russell W. Barnes
Loc:   UK
Date:   December 2002
Subject: Every Ready page on your website
Link: Torch advert
URL:   http://www.huttonrow.co.uk
Msg:  Dear Emil,
Just had a look at your excellent site, and noted - on the "Ever Ready" page - that you were...  "Unsure about the one on the right..." when referring to the domestic lights advertisement.
The "one on the right" is not a torch, but is a gas-lighter.  It consisted of a cylindrical 1.5 Volt battery about 2-inch diameter with the end threaded (-ve terminal) at the top.  the +ve terminal was in the centre of the same end.
This arrangement allowed the metal gas-lighter attachment to be screwed on.  At the tip of this was a removable element with a metal shroud.  It was applied to a gas-stove and a black button pushed, causing the element to glow, and igniting the gas.
I know this because my grandmother had one, and I used to screw off the end and replace it with a torch bulb!
Reply: What interesting info, I had suspected as much. - Thanks everso much.

Name: Ron Willis
Loc:   UK
Date:   September 2002
Subject: Screen Filter
Link: Screen Filters
URL:  
Msg:  Hi Emil, my father got one of those screen filters during the 1950, s it was not very successful I think the only good thing about it was that cut down the glare which b/w sets seem to be prone to in those days I have enjoyed your website so far as I haven't explored it all yet I will be back from Ron.
Reply: Hi Ron,  Lovely to hear from someone (you're the first) who remembers one - and thanks for your kind comments. Best regards Emil

Name: George Windsor
Loc:   UK
Date:   September 2002
Subject: Pilot TM54
Link: Pilot TM54
URL:  
Msg:  Dear Emil, Thanks for featuring the Pilot. I have just sold mine to Mick Kay of Retford, Notts at the last BVWS meeting. I enclose a couple of pictures. Please feel free to use them if you wish. Best regards, George Windsor
Reply: What lovely pictures - thanks very much, I will credit you (and your copyright) on the images. Best regards Emil.
Reply: Dear Emil, Thanks for your words. If you would like anymore let me know. It was a great surprise typing in Pilot TM54 on Google and finding it straight away! Best regards, George
Reply: Hi George,  Yes, that's what I'm trying to do.  I have had so many frustrating times searching for info on a product - I thought I would do something about it and do as many pages as possible on items people may pick up and find. Lifetime's work, however!  Regards Emil.

Name: Lorne Clark
Loc:   UK
Date:   August 2002
Subject: Re-launch of my website
Link:
URL:   http://earlywireless.com, http://www.teelectronics.co.uk
Msg:  Hello Emil, I am writing to let you know that I have re-launched my website. Previously it was 'Lorne's Vintage Wireless' at http://www.vintagewireless.freeserve.co.uk and my new site is 'EarlyWireless' at [above]. I wonder if you would be able to amend the link that you kindly placed in the Links section of your website.  Kind regards, Lorne Clark
Reply:

Name: Brett Callaghan
Loc:   UK
Date:   August 2002
Subject: Truvox Polisher
Link: Polisher
URL:   www.truvox.com
Msg:   I am the Sales manager at Truvox International Ltd, the original manufacturers of the Truvox Juno and Truvox audio equipment. Good to see our name on your site, the Juno was an unique machine in it's day and yes it did go under furniture, we still have one somewhere! We still manufacture rotary polishers among other things and the latest models are radically different in design and the way they are built. Would you believe we now put shock absorbers on them! Have a look at our website [above] (when it is back up!)  and if there is any info we can provide you with then we would be pleased to do so. You may find a call to [name and number withheld] will produce a mine of Vintage info that would be useful to you. Keep up the interesting work. Brett Callaghan, Truvox International Ltd.
Reply: Hello Brett. How nice to hear from you.  I will no doubt ring [] in the near future as it would be great to get some extra info for that entry. I get a great many hits by people (presumably erroneously) finding Truvox on my site - so your polishers must be popular! It would be v.nice to do a special section on Truvox history (which of course you could use on your own site FOC (my interest is as a hobby, not commercial, I have enough of that at work!)

Name: Rick Bensene
Loc:   USA
Date:   August 2002
Subject: Hitachi KK461
Link:
URL:   http://www.geocities.com/oldcalculators
Msg:  Hello, Emil, My compliments on your interesting "Vintage Technology" website.  The site is very pleasant to navigate, and has wonderful old technology content. I have a museum of vintage calculating machine technology called the "Old Calculator Web Museum", which you can visit at [above URL].  I specialize on detailed historical and technical information on early electronic desktop calculators. One machine I have exhibited is a Singer/Friden EC-1118 (http://www.geocities.com/oldcalculators/friden1118.html).  At the time this calculator was made, Singer Co. had contracted with Hitachi in Japan to design and manufacture calculators for sale under the Singer/Friden brand in Americas.  The Hitachi KK461 that you have on your website is the Hitachi equivalent of the EC-1118.  I was wondering if I may have your permission to use the photo you have online of the KK461, with proper credit to you and your site, in my exhibit for the Singer/Friden EC-1118, as well as in the "Wanted" page on my site, as someday I would hope to find one of these machines as a physical exhibit also.  Best to you, Rick Bensene The Old Calculator Web Museum.
Reply: Response: Hello Rick. Thank you for your kind comments.  Coming from a web site like your own I regard that as a high complement indeed. Old Calculators is great, of course you can use the image, and I'll add a link to your site asap. The more promotion we can do for calculator collecting  the less will get thrown out (but the prices will go up - bummer!).  Lots more stuff to put on, including some run-of-the-mill calcs, but finding the time is always difficult.

Name: Chris Holmes
Loc:   UK
Date:   July 2002
Subject: Great Page
Link: Radio Rentals
URL:  
Msg:   I suppose I'm near South Wales (in galactic terms anyway).  Did you know there was a feature on a Radio Rentals Radio on that's life in the late 70s. A customer had rung them up and asked for his radio to be repaired and they gave him the brush off saying they didn't rent radios (They had written to all their customers some years before and told them to keep them) or so they thought, it turned out they'd missed one and were still collecting rentals from him!  After that's life got involved they gave him a new Sony or similar and That's life also managed to get his set repaired (by a chap who had a houseful of Valve Radios and was in Ealing West London or thereabouts). Unfortunately we chucked all our valve radios out some years ago :=((
Reply: Hi Chris, Your email had me smiling a lot ! I can just imagine that sort of thing happening :-). Thanks v. much for the email.

Name: Darryl Hudson
Loc:   Aiken, SC  USA
Date:   February 2002
Subject: Enjoyed your web site...
Link:
URL:   http://darryl.hudson.home.mindspring.com
Msg:  Hi Emil, I enjoyed your site.  I believe we may have some similar interests.  Please visit my site when you have an opportunity.
Reply:

 

 
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