MULLARD

The 'Mullard' radio brand was introduced in NZ in 1937 and lasted until 1955.

Mullard was manufactured by Philips Electrical Industries of N.Z. Ltd, they were distributed by C. & A. Odlin Ltd. Currently there are 20 documented models.

Mullard valves had been widely available across New Zealand since the early 1920s - however, the introduction of radio models bearing the brand did not occur in any organised way until 1937.

The Mullard Radio Valve Co. of Southfields, London, was founded in 1920 by Captain Stanley R. Mullard, who had previously designed thermionic valves for the Admiralty...

Wikipedia - retr. May 2021

Mullard was founded in England in 1919 and it's activities centred around the new radio industry, with particular emphasis on wireless valves.

During the reconstruction of world distribution of Mullard products in 1937, a prominent New Zealand firm of radio importers was chosen to represent Mullard in this country.

From 'Philips in New Zealand', by H. A. Leighton Lord

The company referred to by Leighton Lord was C. & A. Odlin Ltd, a nationwide chain of timber and hardware merchants who had been importing and selling radios since the mid-1920s.  By about 1935 they had a separate division to deal exclusively with radio importation and sales, and in 1937 they took over the nationwide distribution of Mullard products.  This was disrupted in 1939 with the introduction of import controls by the government of the day - and this meant domestic radios needed to be produced locally, so an arrangement was made with Philips NZ* to produce radios here under the Mullard brand. 

This arrangement with Philips stems from 1923 when Mullard UK formed a partnership with Philips in Holland in order to increase their production capability.  Then, in 1927, they took complete ownership of Mullard, although retaining the company name and operations.  The Mullard name was in operation in the UK under Philips control until around 1988, although the name disappeared from use as a radio brand in New Zealand in 1955 when it was replaced by 'Fleetwood' (the name of a town in England where one of the many Mullard production facilities resided).

Mullard radios had been available in New Zealand before Odlins took over distributorship, although not in any organised way.

* Philips had a factory in Blair St, Wellington at this time, which had opened in 1936 to begin radio production.

 

Mullard model numbers

Through observation it has been noted by the author that the New Zealand Mullard model code can tell you a bit about the set - it has three digits - the first is the valve count in the radio (including the magic eye), and the last appears to be the year of release.  The middle digit seems to be the series of radio for that year - for example, there is a model 520 and a model 620: the 6-valve version seems to be identical apart from the magic eye, so both have a 2 for (what we will call) the series code, the 5 and 6 represent the valve count, and both were released in 1940 - hence the 0.  The year is generally right, give or take a year.

Philips codes from 'the Mullard years' have absolutely no discernable meaning that the author has been able to find other than similar models having similar codes - so, knowing the Mullard model code for a Philips equivalent means you can then find the year and valve count for a Philips model as well.  In the above example, the model 520 and 620 are equivalent to the Philips models 152 and 153.

Philips and Mullard model equivalents (Based on the NZVRS lists with date corrections based on the Mullard codes and advertising evidence - red models were imported from the UK, models from 1940 were manufactured in New Zealand, no models were produced from the last part of 1942 until mid-1945 as factories were engaged in war work)

YEAR   PHILIPS   MULLARD
1935   462   X44A
1935   463   X45A
1937   361A   X30A
1937   362A   X31A
1938   V7A Theatrette   MAS2 Westminster
1938   470   MAS12
1938   650   MAS15A
1938   660   MAS24A
1938   753   MAS17A
         
    PHILIPS   MULLARD
1940   042   410
1940   M042   M410
1940   152   520
1940   153   620
1940   252   630
         
1941   155   531 Long Distance
1941   773   701
         
1942   158   652
         
WORLD WAR II - WAR PRODUCTION
         
1945   540 (and 540E) Philette   515 Meteor
1945   593   525
         
1946   594   736
1946   598   776
1946   596   946
1946   600   996
         
1947   648   537
1947   599   567
1947   547   577
1947   461   627
1947   595   747
1947   597   957
1947   601   987
         
    PHILIPS   MULLARD
1948   647   548
1948   209   558
1948   545   618 Two-Way Portable
1948   465   638
         
1949   207 Purse-Size Portable   49 Personal Portable (Also HMV)
1949   305   649
1949   306   659
1949   499   669
1949   602   919
         
1950   208   420
1950   210   530
1950   603   610
         
1951   234   541
1951   645   681
         
1952   BZ126A   402
1952   BZ246U   522
1952   235 (also BZ626A wooden?)   552 (BZ626A might be 564 wooden?)
1952   699   672
         
    ...in progress, more soon...    
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         

 

20 Documented Mullard Models
IMAGEYEAR MODEL CODE VALVES BANDS
1940 Mullard model 410 4  Dual Wave 
1940 Mullard model 520 5, with magic eye on some  Dual Wave 
1940 Mullard model 620 5, with magic eye on some  Dual Wave 
1940 Mullard model 630 5 + magic eye  Dual Wave 
1941 Mullard model 531 'Long Distance' 5, with magic eye on some  Dual Wave 
1942 Mullard model 542 5 + magic eye  All Wave 
1942ish Mullard model 652 5 + magic eye  All Wave 
1945 Mullard model 515 'Meteor' 5  Broadcast 
1945 Mullard model 525 5 4
1946 Mullard model 736 6 + magic eye  All Wave 
1946 Mullard model 776 6 + magic eye  All Wave 
1946 Mullard model 946 8 + magic eye  All Wave 
1947 Mullard model 537 5  Dual Wave 
1949 Mullard model 567 5  Dual Wave 
1950ish Mullard model 420 4  Broadcast 
1951 Mullard model 541 5  Broadcast 
1952 Mullard model 402 4  Broadcast 
1952ish Mullard model 552 5  All Wave 
1953 Mullard model 563 5  Broadcast 
1955 Mullard model 735 6+magic eye 5