From a wireless manufacturing point of view Mullard was based at Mitcham in the early 1930's. Mullard was a company started in the 1920's by Stanley Mullard, and became part of the Philips Group a few years later. From then on the same chassis was likely to feature in completely different cabinets marketed under either the Mullard or Philips brand name. (Not unlike Marconi and HMV under EMI in fact). The story of the relationship between Mullard and Philips is too complicated to be related on this page, so those interested are referred to reference books such as "The Setmakers" by Keith Geddes and Gordon Bussey.
The set shown on this page is the Mullard MAS5 from 1936, and as you can see it is housed in a magnificent cabinet. This receiver is enormous at more than 2 foot long, and is clearly inspired by the latest Art Deco buildings of the day. Notice the use of a speaker cloth that disappears round the left hand side of the set - a classic Deco characteristic. Then there are those bars in front of the speaker. It is perhaps not too clear from the picture but they are suspended in space as they travel round the side of the cabinet, being at least ½" clear of the speaker cloth. It is not easy to get that right angle turn in the wood, particularly as the bend is un-supported. The bars from the front that disappear along the left hand side of the cabinet are screw fixed from the inside, requiring 12 screws alone, and that purely as a decorative effect. The original owner of this receiver must have appreciated the Art Deco school of design, and hence have been really proud to own this set. The picture right is of the old L.D.S. building in Hornsey Road, Holloway, London. Here is a strongly Art Deco structure from the 1930's, and the similarities are striking. The floor ledges travelling round the side of the building are near identical to the bars across the front and side of the Mullard MAS5, one could almost be a copy of the other.
The chassis from this set was also used in the Philips model 795A. This set is the first of the "Magicontrol" series of receivers (known as "Monoknob" for the Philips sets). These receivers were very expensive at £17.17.0. A great part of that price must have been absorbed by the cost of the cabinet, as the set incorporates only a 4 valve plus rectifier chassis. That said a tuning indicator is also provided, and as the loudspeaker is so large the sound quality is very good. These receivers do not turn up often these days, and for some reason every other example I've seen (another 2) has had a serious woodworm problem. Mine too had one or two exit holes, so before gaining admittance the cabinet was liberally dosed in wood beetle exterminator, and then the inner surfaces re-painted. Valve line-up is FC4, VP4B, TDD4, PENA4, DW2, TV4. We'll take a look at the "Magicontrol" when considering the MAS8 receiver a little later in this section.
Continue to Mullard MAS24 pushbutton model
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