Lotus AC 3 Valve
Shown on this page is the "AC 3 Valve" receiver from 1932. (Nobody could argue that Lotus model numbers weren't descriptive and to the point!) Lotus was a very small manufacturer that commenced production around 1930. They only lasted a few years, but during that time had high aspirations of what they thought they would achieve. This even extended to the manufacture of their own valves, indeed two of the original Lotus branded valves may be seen in the receiver pictured. However tooling costs are extremely expensive for the manufacture of items like valves, (vacuum pumps, glass works etc) so as might be expected these valves are made by other large manufacturers and simply re-branded Lotus by the application of transfers (the Osram logo can also be seen lower in this page). The aim to manufacture their own valves wasn't a total pipe dream though, after all Ekco and Ferranti went on to realise this aspiration. Lotus never made it as one of radio's big names though in spite of their efforts.
The radio is a TRF, and notable is the chassis sprayed with a strong layer of black paint. The cabinet is solid walnut, with a very striking Lotus flower pattern cut into the fretwork grille. Covering both MW and LW, the stations were tuned in via a disc calibrated in metres viewable through an "antiqued" brass escutcheon embossed with the Lotus name.
Shown above is an original sales leaflet for the receiver. Under the heading "Attractive Cabinet", the leaflet describes the case as follows: "Whilst free from unnecessary and costly embellishments the cabinet is artistic and elegant in design. The neutral walnut finish is particularly pleasing and will harmonise with any furniture or colour scheme". In those very early days of commercial wireless manufacture that description seems perhaps a little understated, as in 1932 this was one of the single most attractive receivers on the market. The radio cost £15.15.0 in 1932, and was built at the company's works in Liverpool. Today Lotus receivers are very rare, and because of the attractive fretwork, highly desirable.
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