Cossor Radio Model 369A

Cossor were involved in radio from the 1920’s, but did not start manufacturing complete receivers until 1930.  Before then they sold kits of parts that could be assembled by the home enthusiast, marketed as the Melody Maker.  Cossor were also already an important valve manufacturer.  The first complete receivers were made at the Highbury works, and production took off so quickly that cabinet manufacture was soon moved elsewhere so that the electronic construction could take place at one location.   

Cossor were one of the biggest pre-war manufacturers, with a large range of sets.  However the cabinets tended to be very similar, with minor changes to the grilles for example.  Shown above is the 369A mains receiver from 1935.  It is a competent performer, but certainly no better than its competitors.  That cabinet shape was used for many different models over several years.  Cossor did try to embrace some of the more contemporary styles of the time, for example the 363A appeared in the same cabinet but with chrome and black tuning escutcheon surround with black knobs, and chrome cabinet detailing.  However, the uninspiring square walnut cabinet meant that the chrome had nothing like the effect seen on Ekco bakelite receivers for instance. Cossor described the 369A cabinet in marketing for the identical 368 cabinet as “of attractive design with bakelite fittings” and continued “high grade workmanship and careful finish combine harmoniously to give an indefinable air of quality” (see picture of 368 leaflet below).  For many years Cossor continued to supply their sets with plywood backs painted black, instead of going over to the more usual pressed card backs.

By 1935 most of Cossor’s competitors had gone over to the superhet design, but Cossor were still persisting with the Tuned Radio Frequency (TRF) design.  This meant that a reaction control was still necessary as one of the receiver controls.  Cossor tried to impress their potential customers by marketing their receivers as “Super-Ferrodyne” (presumably feeling they have to incorporate the word “super” to counteract Supersonic Hetrodyne” used by other makers).  Cossor were one of the bigger manufacturer’s of the 1930’s so a lot of people must have been convinced by this ruse.  But in retrospect, one wonders how! One thing they did get right though was the composition of their celluloid tuning scales.  Unlike Ekco scales the Cossor ones seem not to be prone to shrinkage. The 369A is designed for use on either AC or DC mains, and has a valve line-up of 13VPA, 13SPA, 402P, 40SUA.

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