Marconi radios
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Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company first began making non-industrial receivers for the amateur market after World War I at the Marconi Scientific Company Co. in London. In 1922 a 'Marconiphone' department was formed in Chelmsford and became a subsidiary company of Marconi in the following year. In August 1925 Marconiphone took over one of Marconi's subsidiary companies. The Sterling Telephone and Electric Company took over their headquarters in London, and the majority of the receivers were thereafter made at Sterling's old factory at Dagenham. By 1928 the Marconiphone Company was losing money and Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company were looking to dispose of the business. In December 1928, British Thomson-Houston (BTH) had an option to purchase the Company for a million pounds, when this option expired in February the following year HMV stepped in.
Victor, who owned HMV had been taken over by this time by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) who saw the Marconiphone Company as an opportunity to improve HMV's position in the radio and recording business. The deal was agreed in March 1929 and HMV acquired not only the business but also the Marconi name and Marconi's interest in the Marconi-Osram Valve Company that they owned jointly with GEC.
In 1931, HMV and Columbia Gramophone Company merged to form Electric and Musical Industries Ltd. (EMI) who rapidly became a leading player in the radio industry. The Marconiphone receivers were distributed through wholesalers and by the late 1930s the only thing differing the Marconiphone and the HMV receivers was the cabinet design. In 1957, EMI stopped making domestic receivers and the HMV and Marconiphone brands were manufactured by Ferguson, their distribution and sales taken-over by the newly formed British Radio Corporation, a subsidiary of Thorn. By 1979 when Thorn acquired EMI the Marconiphone name had been dropped. Subsequently the Marconiphone trademark has reverted to Marconi plc.
Marconi House, The Strand, London

This page was last edited on 03.12.2016