Los Angeles Radio Manufacturing
The First Twenty Years, Supplement No. 2
By Floyd A. Paul
REVIEWED BY ALAN DOUGLAS
In 1988, Floyd Paul gathered into a book entitled Los Angeles Radio Manufacturing a series of his articles, many of them originally published in the Southern California Antique Radio Society Gazette. The subject -- radios manufactured from 1922 to 1942 in the LA area -- covers many of the companies that made radio manufacturing such a dynamic industry in Southern California in those early years.
Los Angeles Radio Manufacturing was extended by Supplement No. 1 five years later, in 1993. Now a new supplement -- No. 2 -- adds further information on several makers, and introduces some new ones. The basic reference has just gotten better.
Gilfillan received an extensive, 15-page coverage in the original book, but a great deal of new information came to light when Floyd got a privileged peek into the corporate records. Supplement No. 2 adds 15 more pages, including documented details of RCA's licensing practices, confirming some previous conjectures. We also learn that Gilfillan had close ties with some Chicago-area companies.
In addition, there is material on Breting communications receivers, a history of the Wireless Shop, and chapters on several more small West Coast makers. These include Flint, Mission Bell, Radio Product Sales and Miller. In fact, the story on J.W. Miller of coil and crystal-set fame is a lengthy one. Many collectors are familiar with the Miller AM crystal tuner, advertised by Allied Radio in the late 1950s midst ads for new wave hi-fi sets.
An illustration showing the small size of the Peter Pan radio appears on page 35 of the 1988 publication.
As in the earlier books, the original Gazette paste-ups have been reprinted, so the book reads like the disconnected collection of articles that it is. Naturally, much of the Gilfillan material supersedes that in the original book, but the earlier company history was not repeated, so both accounts are needed to appreciate the full story.
The original book is 88 pages, Supplement No. 1, 46 pages, and this new one, 54 pages -- all together, quite a compendium of West Coast activity. As Floyd points out, this is probably the "last word" on the subject, since the old-timers are disappearing.
Published by Floyd Paul in a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" softcover format with 54 pages, Los Angeles Radio Manufacturing, Supplement 2 is available at $10.90. The first book is $11.90; Supplement #1 is $6.75. It may be ordered from A.R.C. and other booksellers. Please check for shipping information.
(Alan Douglas, Box 225, Pocasset, MA 02559)