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Mullard Limited was a Britishmarker manufacturer of electronic components. The Mullard Radio Valve Co. Ltd. of Southfieldsmarker, Londonmarker, was founded in 1920 by Captain Stanley R. Mullard, who had previously designed valves for the Admiralty before becoming managing director of the Z Electric Lamp Co. The company soon moved to Hammersmithmarker, London and then in 1923 to Balham, London. The head office in later years was Mullard House in Torrington Place, Bloomsburymarker, which is now part of University College Londonmarker.

Partnership with Philips

In 1923, in order to meet the technical demands of the newly formed BBC, Mullard formed a partnership with the Dutch manufacturer Philips. The valves (US vacuum tube) produced in this period were named with the prefix PM, for Philips-Mullard, beginning with the PM3 and PM4 in 1926. Mullard finally sold all its shares to Philips in 1927. In 1928 the company introduced the first pentode valve to the British market.



Mullard opened a new manufacturing plant at Mitchammarker, Surrey in 1929. A second building was added in 1936. Both buildings had a very distinctive flat roof construction and were very similar to those at Philips' headquarters in Eindhovenmarker, Netherlandsmarker. Co-sited with the Mullard buildings was the manufacturing complex for Philips Radios. Mitcham was also home to the Mullard Application Laboratory.


In the late 1930s Mullard opened a new plant in Blackburnmarker, Lancashire. By 1949 Mullard had produced a number of television sets, such as the MTS-521 and MTS-684. In 1951 Mullard was producing the LSD series of photographic flash tubes.


Mullard had factories in Southportmarker and Simonstonemarker, Burnleymarker both in Lancashiremarker. The latter was closed in 2004. There was also a sister factory in Durhammarker. Other factories included those at Fleetwoodmarker (closed in 1979) and Lytham St. Annesmarker (closed in 1972). A feeder factory at Haydockmarker closed in 1981.


In the early 1980s, Mullard manufactured some of the earliest teletext decoding modules made in the UK.


Mullard owned semiconductor factories in Southamptonmarker and Stockportmarker. Both sites are now owned by NXP Semiconductors (formerly Philips Semiconductors). The one in Hazel Grovemarker, Stockport specializes in power semiconductor devices.

The first transistors produced by Mullard were the OC50 and OC51 point-contact types, which were not widely used. In 1953 Mullard moved to junction transistors, beginning with the plastic-cased OC10 series. These were followed by the glass-encapsulated OC70 and OC80 series (the output devices were metal encapsulated to facilitate heatsinking), which were produced in large numbers and copied by other companies, such as Valvo (another Philips subsidiary), Intermetall and Siemens in Germany, and Amperex in the USA. In 1964 the company produced a prototype electronic desktop calculator as a technology demonstrator for its transistors and cold cathode indicator tubes.

Space science

In 1957 Philips-Mullard helped to set up the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatorymarker (MRAO) at the University of Cambridgemarker. In 1966 the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) was opened near Dorkingmarker, Surreymarker as part of University College Londonmarker. The Royal Society Mullard Award for young scientists and engineers was set up in 1967.

Mullard brand name

Philips continued to use the brand name "Mullard" in the UK until 1988. Mullard Research Laboratories in Redhillmarker, Surreymarker then became Philips Research Laboratories. As of 2007, the Mullard brand has been revived by Sovtek, producing a variant of the ECC83 and EL34.

Z Electric Lamp Company

The Z Electric Lamp Co. continued business into the 1970s operating from premises in Thornton Heathmarker near Croydonmarker, Surrey, England manufacturing lamps of specialised design. However, they went out of business due to the recession brought about by the high inflation of the mid 1970s.

See also


  1. Mullard Award

External links

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