A page of Murphies

Murphy A24C

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 This set, which arrived on 1st May 2002, looks nothing like it's 1934 peers.

In fact, when it was introduced together with it's companion table model, Murphy dealers were most alarmed and reckoned they'd all be sunk without trace because of its strange styling (by R.D.Russell).

However it caught on and sales weren't too bad. It was even said that some buyers liked it so much they redecorated the room, in which it resided, to match its styling.

There are a few little jobs necessary... check that the woodworm who've made a meal out of it have finished and gone away then investigate two extra knobs, not part of the designers plan. Then see if it's complete and stands a chance of playing through its huge, mains energised, loudspeaker.

Murphy A30

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 A fine specimen of a Murphy, designed by R.D.Russell and made in 1936.

This brand of radio is typical of the many makes available in the 30s, displaying characteristics which were in favour in particular years, although the designer of this specific model may have been a couple of years behind the times. See the A24C above, which is more typical of 1934 than this one is of 1936. By 1936 most other sets have large dials displaying exotic station names, which were by then pretty well fixed on their wavelengths by international treaty.

The dial part of the radio seems to have been overlooked and cobbled from the A24.

On the other hand, the speaker and the cabinet in general look very modern. In fact post war Murphies look very similar to this one but of course by then had better, more informative dials. Maybe there was a complaint from Mr.Murphy but the sets produced after this one had unique dial styling. Murphy knobs were always different too. This one and later models had very ergonomic stylish types in black bakelite. Those used on the A24 and this A30 had pimples in the centre whilst later types were plainer....sort of "truncated multi-hemi-cylindrical-faceted cones with tapering skirts" and light milling on their ends.....I suppose you'd say?

On the technical side its a mains-powered set, covering Medium and Long Waves, and uses 3 valves plus a rectifier.

Price in 1936 was £9:17:6d plus purchase tax.

Murphy A186


 This seems to be the same as an A185 made in 1951 and retailing for £27:10:0 plus purchase tax. Valve line up is:6C9, 6F15, 6LD20, 6P25, UU9 and a 6M1 "magic eye", visible on the RHS of the speaker grille.

Murphy A272

 ...made in 1958 with Long, medium and VHF bands. The VHF coverage is 88-100 MHz. Valve line up is: ECC85, 6C9, 6F18, EABC80, 6P1 and a UU9 rectifier.

Murphy Model U144

 A 4-valve mains powered "Transportable", with an internal frame aerial, made in bakelite in 1949. One side is for Long Waves and the other for Medium Waves. It gets pretty hot inside and ventillation is via a gap between the two glass dials. When you turn it round to tune into the shipping forecast you're liable to burn your fingers! It almost certainly started life in pale blue like the knobs but it got (badly) painted with cream emulsion. I decided to strip off both colours. Valve line up: 10C1, 10F9, 10LD1, 10P13 and a U404 rectifier.

Model A92

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 Rather tatty as yet !! Fortunately the loudspeaker cone is undamaged. Bought recently for £18 (much the same as its price when new!) at a car boot sale. One of the few new sets brought out in 1940; presumably designed in 1939 the outbreak of war, in September of that year, probably delayed its venue. Specially designed "Wartime Utility" sets were the norm from 1944. Valve line up is from the Mazda octal range:- SP41 RF stage (on short waves only), TH41, VP41, HL41DD, PEN45 and a UU6. The SP41, used mainly in commercial sets, was the 4 volt version of the SP61 which must have been produced by the million for use in WWII Radar sets. They could be bought after the war for pence.

Murphy U198M

 I've had this dismantled in a box for years. Now I've put it back together. The Excel Polish makes it difficult to get a picture showing the rich red colour of the bakelite. The designers either chose to keep the front uncluttered or they couldn't work out were to mount the wavechange switch. It's mounted at the rear and operated by a long lever type switch knob which protrudes round the RH side. The set's really small for a valve mains type being only 5.5"deep x 6.5"high x 10.5"wide. To prevent localised heating of the top there's a metal shield, which looks like an afterthought, kept in place by the top securing screw of the back panel. The set dates from 1953 and must be one of the first models to use a ferrite rod aerial. Up to then most AC/DC "transportable"sets used a loop aerial (see the U144 above). Valve line up is: UCH42, UF41, UBC41, UL41 and UY41.

See a Murphy A72 from 1939


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