GULBRANSEN 518N 'LITTLE JEWEL' (1948)

The Gulbransen 518N was manufactured for H. W. Clarke Ltd by Collier & Beale Ltd in 1948. It's part of the Little Jewel 'Fridge' series of radios.

Other radios based on the same chassis:

6-valve (equivalent) broadcast band miniature mantle radio.

1948 Gulbransen 518N 'Little Jewel'

The Gulbransen 518N is part of the Little Jewel 'Fridge' series of radios.

Allegedly a 'pinched' design (cabinet design AND the Little Jewel name) from Westinghouse in the US.  Also known as the 'Fridge'.

According to a report from Bill Collerton in the Wellington Vintage Radio Club newsletter back in 1994 they were a flop from a sales perspective.  Apparently potential buyers expected (from the design) that it would be portable, and were turned off to find out it was mains only despite its portable appearance which included a fold-away handle.  Retailers were forced to sell the sets for very low prices just to quit stock and Collier & Beale were forced to issue credit rebates to dealers holding stocks - and so despite its reasonable performance for its size, it was a case of the wrong set at the wrong time.

From a collectability point of view, they have held their prices well in recent times - particularly when compared with more conventional designs.  One point to be aware of is that the handles are not well secured, and many are missing today - its well worth making sure a set is complete with handle if you're looking for a collectors piece.

The radios in this series are:

Technical Information

Valves (6 (equivalent)): 6BA6, 6BE6, 6BA6, 6AT6, 6AQ5, RE3612 Selenium Rectifier (Federal, USA)

Intermediate Frequency: 455kc/s

Frequency Bands: 1

Chassis Notes(most schematics can be clicked to download a full size version)

1948 Cromwell 518N 'Little Jewel'

1948 Cromwell 518N 'Little Jewel'

General Construction Notes for Collier & Beale Ltd:

Model numbering followed no real sensible scheme until around 1940 - and prior to 1934 apparently no model numbers were assigned at all.

From 1940 a 3- or 4-digit system was employed where the first digit indicates the number of valves, the second digit is the number of bands and the third is the year of manufacture.  From 1950 the last digit became two digits, eg: 5151 is a 5-valve broadcast-band only from 1951.

From 1957 model numbers were replaced with model names, ie the Pacemaker Buffalo - which makes the year of manufacture hard to determine unless service info is consulted (although C&B often released service info after the radio, and the date on the service info was for its release, not that of the model.

Other documented models using this chassis (2 in total)

YEARMODEL NAME
1948 Cromwell 518N 'Little Jewel'