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X-RAY SPECS: A Guest Blog By Young Man Gone West

X-Ray Specs

X-RAY SPECS: A Guest Blog By Young Man Gone West

Richard, blogger extraordinaire, going by the pseudonym ‘Young Man Gone West,’ (YMGW), has kindly allowed me to post his wonderful blog ‘X-Ray Specs’ for our Mullard Antiques readers.

Some of you may recognise this Halsey USAAF X-Ray Warning Light from our website. YMGW purchased the light and has ensured that it is now in full working condition. The blog explains more about its fascinating history with some great accompanying images! 

I think we can all say that YMGW has done a good job on the post and the light. Wonderful to see the lamp in working condition. A real vintage statement piece!

X-Ray Specs

Likely manufactured in the late-1960s but updated in the mid-1980s – the Freed transformer inside is dated August 1969, but the Soderberg anti-collision beacon October 1985 – this Halsey industrial X-ray warning device was used by the United States military. The item bears an affixed metal plate, plus a sticker from the time of its disposal, that together provide valuable information on its origins.

Xray Specs
Halsey Industrial X-ray Warning Device

The Disposal Turn-In Document (DTID) number acts as a unique disposal serial number. The first six places provide the Address Activity Code. FB5587 is RAF Lakenheath. The light was, thus, used by the USAAF. The next four places indicate the date the item was catalogued for disposal. Per the US military’s adaptation of the Julian dating system, 9196 is 6 April 1991.

Xray Specs
Disposal Sticker

The National Stock Number (NSN) system was standardised by NATO in 1974 to track military assets, although versions of it existed prior. The first four places indicate the Federal Supply Classification Group. FSCG 9905 is for signs, advertising displays and identification plates: even military ID plates have their own ID codes! 00 in the fifth and sixth places indicates the United States.

Xray Specs

Demilitarisation Codes indicate the degree of physical destruction required. DEMIL: A denotes a non-munitions/non-strategic item that does not demand any such. $2,245.63 is understood to be the asking price at disposal in 1991, over £3,000 at 2017 prices. The Federal Condition Code is given as A1 – serviceable without qualification, new/unused.

Xray Specs

Halsey was a trademark of Post Glover Medical Products, of Erlanger, Kentucky. Established in 1938, the company supplied medical items, including X-ray illumination boxes. It still trades, as PG LifeLink. The light would have been supplied via the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Georgia, part of the USAAF’s Materiel Command.

Xray Specs
X-ray lamp repaired and illuminated!

Shaped like a truncated pyramid, the device stands 29 inches tall. When switched on the Lucite panels are illuminated from within, and the twin bulbs in the beacon rotate within the red glass housing. Built to operate on US 115v mains, the light has been converted to run on UK 240v, with a new transformer inserted to provide steeped-down voltage for the 28v DC beacon. The original transformer and Hubbell connectors have been left in place, to enable any future reinstatement to the original set-up.

(Many thanks to Steve and Karen, of Mullard Magic, for assistance with the item’s history; and to various members of the UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Forum for advice and parts.)

Post written by Richard: Young Man Gone West (YMGW)

Thank you to you YMGW too! And for all Mullard Antiques blog readers, please click on the following link to YMGW’s website for more fascinating posts.







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Latest Royal Mail Posting Dates for Christmas 2017

Latest Royal Mail Posting Dates for Christmas 2017

Latest Royal Mail Posting Dates for Christmas 2017!

Hi everyone!

I hope you are all keeping well?

I can’t believe how this year has flown by! Halloween and Bonfire Night have been and gone so here in the UK the next big holiday is Christmas! I know this isn’t quite the case everywhere in the World but my apologies for not listing all your special celebrations and holidays here, but I hope you all enjoy them anyway!

Since some of you are usually very well (or is it ill?) prepared for the vagaries of the postal system around the festive season, I thought I would share with you the latest Royal Mail Posting Dates For Christmas.

I have only shared with you the dates for the Royal Mail (under 2Kg weight category) International Tracked/ Signed, (as here at Mullard Antiques we don’t ship Internationally via surface mail), and UK Inland Services.

Items weighing over 2Kg, or of a larger dimension, are normally shipped via a courier. It is best to contact us prior to purchase, as the delivery times vary depending on the courier used.

Having shared this with you, I would add that some items will take longer to ship than indicated, as things can get held up in customs.

I’ll be in touch again soon!


Mullard Antiques and Collectibles

For more information on Latest Posting Dates For Christmas 2017, click on the following link

International Standard (formerly Airmail) and all International Tracking and Signature Services (formerly Airsure® and International Signed For®)

Saturday 2 December: Africa, Middle East
Wednesday 6 December: Cyprus, Asia, Far East (including Japan), Eastern Europe (except Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia)
Thursday 7 December: Caribbean, Central & South America
Saturday 9 December: Greece, Australia, New Zealand
Wednesday 13 December: Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland
Thursday 14 December: Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA
Friday 15 December: Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
Saturday 16 December: Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg

UK Inland Services
Wednesday 20 December: 2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For®
Thursday 21 December: 1st Class and Royal Mail Signed For®
Thursday 21 December: Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®
Friday 22 December: Special Delivery Saturday Guaranteed

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Ladies Love The Mullard Valve Tester!

Mullard Valve Tester

Ladies Love The Mullard Valve Tester!

I asked Mr Mullard Antiques to write me a guest blog about Women working, in what was traditionally seen as a Man’s role, in the 1950s. I was a little bit worried, give Steve this level of freedom and who knows what he would write! Anyway, I’m pleasantly surprised! Thank you, Mullard Magicfor this lighthearted look at Women working at the Mullard Valve factory in the 1950s. Great images!

According to Mullard (the manufacturer’s of thermionic valve products), ‘The Mullard High Speed Valve Tester was so simple to use anyone could use it’.  Mullard made much of this in contemporary journals, and here we see a photo from one of them in which a young lady is delicately using a beastly Mullard High Speed Valve Tester.

But let’s put sexist stereotypes aside for a moment and look instead at the reality of valve testing at Mullard in the 1950s – did you know that at the Mullard Service Department at Waddon, the majority of staff were ‘Women’ yes, really, and to prove it here, below,  I have photos of Doris Saxilby valve testing in the  Waddon labs.

Did you also know that at all times, when returned valves were actually on test, manualy dextrous operators such as these two pictured would be lightly tapping the valve with a leather covered hammer to reveal any intermittent faults. Just goes to show that the ‘fairer sex’ were actually much better at testing than their male counterparts!

Her best friend and bridesmaid, Mildred Dallymer can be seen in this photo checking for interelectrode shorts.





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Mischievous should be plural for feline

Mischievous should be plural for feline

Mischievous should be plural for feline

Thanks once again to my wonderful guest blogger, Eiffion, owner of https://www.collectibulldogs.comfor his light hearted blog about Noddy and Bonnie who really fit Eiffion’s blog title of Mischievous should be plural for feline.

Eiffion is a dedicated collector of all sorts of things related to English Bulldogs, and also has an English Bulldog blog at collectibulldogs.comHis World class collection of Bulldog ephemera is museum listed and has even made its way into a display in Brighton Museum, UK. Quite a feat!

 Eiffion isn’t just a lover of bulldogs, he is also pretty fond of felines too! Read the following blog to find out more.

The goodbye that never was

Hi there readers of Mullard Antiques blog articles, it’s me, Eiffion, the bulldog fella. I wrote a blog for you guys n gals a while back and I’m guest posting again. So, Hi! How are you all?

I thought I’d make a change from bulldogs and talk about cats instead. Two cats in particular and both close to myself and my family but alas one is not here anymore, as the header suggests we lost one cat a few summers ago and never knew what happened to him. He just disappeared.

Noddy (our first cat) was a brazen yet chilled out cat that loved nothing better than to either sunbathe out on the window sill winding up the pigeons or on a hot day he would be outside in the middle of the pavement licking where cats lick and not scared of any dog that walked past.

What’s that? Can’t you see I’m busy!

We had this friend of ours for years, he was our first kitten as a family and the day he went missing I remember myself crying because my little girl was so upset. I put up a reward and defied the council twice by putting up bill boards outside the home but it wasn’t to be. We looked everywhere. In a city that never sleeps anything could of happened to Noddy and, even though I want my daughter to experience the responsibility of owning an animal, I feel something was taken from her in the sense she felt loss but unlike past pets couldn’t properly say goodbye.

The fact I’m a doggie fella is neither here nor there when it came to Noddy, he was one in a million. I mean what cat comes for walks, often miles, just to be with the dog. People used to stop and take pictures the vision was so cute. We have heard stories of cats reappearing months sometimes years after going missing but I have, and had, the sinking feeling that we may never see Noddy again nor ever have another cat like him.

Noddy: a very handsome cat

I’d like to dedicate this article to Noddy if I may and wish him all the meows in the world whether this one or where cats go after. Get ready here comes trouble. So if Noddy had of gone by say mis – responsibility through the vets I wouldn’t have allowed my daughter the luxury of a second cat, and some may think that sounds a bit harsh, but as parents you must know when we agree to our kids having pets whom takes on most of the chores… hmmm.

Our daughter was anxious that the same thing would happen again if she was to get another cat and ironically about 6 months later a kitten popped up on Facebook and was classed as a house cat. I read this up and realised it is frowned upon but we hadn’t made the cat that way and it seemed ideal to have this kitten as a pet. We went to get the kitten from a ladies home and the kitten meowed from its old home right till we got to ours and as soon as we were in she went quiet.

Folks meet Bonnie the most aggravating The most mischievous The most aghhhh ball of cuteness in the feline world.

Bonnie, the ball of cuteness!


Now, what can I do next to make them shout at me…..

We all live in our homes day-to-day, most have routines and, I swear, all you hear from my 15 year old whom just normally answers anything with a grunt or ‘I don’t know’ is constantly telling off the cat. I will use cat now as Bonnie is a couple of years old now and I swear she’s got a dreamies addiction (I think all cats have, Eiffion! You ought to see ours when the dreamies appear. I would love to know what is in them to make them so addictive!)

I do not know where to start with her naughtiness, let’s start with just yesterday. I’m insomniac so needed some rest. No one else was here so Bonnie decided to get a whole cupboards worth of clean washing out whilst I was asleep.

Speaking of asleep this next one even made me giggle at first. She must have started with my wife first as it was her that noticed cat fur on her lips and sometimes in her mouth, I came home late one night from evening with the lads and I caught Bonnie in the act, she was sitting on my wife’s chest with one paw trying to open her mouth. We thought, weird cat!

Hands, hands, hands, it’s all about the hands. Bonnie is such a spoilt cat she’s craving attention and in her mind when you’re in bed and she cannot find your hands she goes looking for them. Funny how she thinks they maybe down the throats! Lol! I now play peek a hand with her so she knows where our hands go.


Who needs a scratch post when expensive leather will do? I will be the first to admit I am careful with my income. My only extravagance is my daughter and, at the age of 15, has a better, more grown up, bedroom than is needed. Unlucky for me, my daughter has expensive taste! The crowning glory of her new bedroom was a bed even more luxurious than ours!!!

My wife took me in the other day and OMG Bonnie has taken upon herself NOT to use the posts provided but the beautiful suede coloured leather that covers my daughters bed. I do not feel angry towards Bonnie, she spends a few hours a day on her own or with me, if the dog’s not around, whilst my daughter attends her education, so I understand the craving of attention. This would be easily accomplished if only Bonnie would let somebody pick her up, that way she can be made a fuss of, played with and hopefully knacker her out but, ever since we got her she’s hated a pick up and this, somehow, was how she was raised before we got her.

Not long now…

So there’s the spoilt little fur ball from selective eating to constant attention seeking but she really takes the biscuit when she decides to re arrange our home. So far, this naughty nature is confined to our daughter’s bedroom and the linen from our room. You see it on You Tube all the time where cats sit there and out of the blue knock of an object for no reason other than to annoy you: lol.

What? Me! I didn’t do anything….

Bonnie takes this to a whole new level in my daughters room, as stated “Bonnie, no” isn’t just day time but can be all hours of the night! She starts with the smaller drawers batting what she can out and onto the floor before playing football getting bored and on to emptying her larger drawers.

I do not want to jinx myself but with a cat like Bonnie, and a world class ultra expensive collection, it’s only time before she gives me the same treatment and God forbid should one or any of my expensive breakables hit the floor I think I would cry…

Touch wood, as we say in the UK, and hopefully that day never arises.

Lastly and until next time. Well that’s my definition of trouble all packed up in a ball of cuteness and I still giggle when I see Bonnie’s tail going along the other side of the coffee table. Don’t know why, it’s just funny!

If I’m invited back (course you will be Eiffion!) I’ll tell you all about Wiggles, our bulldog, and the antics she gets up to just to have as lazy a life as possible.

Stay safe and be kind to one another folks and to any collectors keep up with your passions collecting is great.

Her hair is soft and her Meow is ever so sweet

From under your legs to preening your sheet

Lucky with living thanks to those sure feet

The cuteness of felines we have is like a treat.

Bonnie looks so cute and sweet you wouldn’t believe she gets up to all these antics unless you are a fellow cat owner!

If you love Eiffion’s blog, then please read his other guest blogs by clicking on the links at the top of this blog or the following links:-

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What do the Babcock Brothers, Evansville, Indiana & Thomas Goodfellow have in common?

Babcock Brothers, Evansville, Indiana & Thomas Goodfellow

What do the Babcock Brothers of Evansville, Indiana and Thomas Goodfellow, a Staffordshire potter, have in common?

Whilst in the process of sorting through a box of pottery, belonging to my 87-year old Mum-in-Law, I came across a pair of shell-like cream antique dishes with the following back mark.

Imported by Babcock Brothers, Evansville, IA.


We knew they had been in our family for at least 60 years but no-one knew where the dishes originated. We were pretty sure they were 19th Century (Victorian) and they had a the look of the Staffordshire pottery: ‘Adams Jasperware.’

Cobalt Blue Adams Tunstall Jasper ware
Cobalt Blue Adams Tunstall Jasper ware


After a trawl on the internet I thought that the back mark referred to the Babcock Brothers from Evansville, Indiana. Were they made in the UK for the US market. Why were they in the UK?

I wasn’t sure what to search for next and thought I would throw the question over to my good U.S friends in the Google+ Vintage and Antiques Community.  I was not to be disappointed with +Pam WhimsicalVintage coming back with the following information:

There is no Evansville Iowa and that state abbreviation was never changed…however, state abbreviations used to be (prior to 1963) more than 2 letters. There is a Babcock Bros who moved to Evansville Indiana from Utica NY in the mid 1800’s. They were wholesalers of among other things, “Queensware”. Is it possible that the letter isn’t an A but an N, or it may be possible that it was mis-abbreviated. I pulled this from the History of Evansville and Vanderburgh County by Joseph Elliot.

Which was closely followed by more information on Henry Babcock kindly provided by +Ann Kennedy.

Interesting indeed! Undeterred, I left it a couple of days before I went back on to the internet and, after quite a few fruitless searches, eventually found the following reference book:-

Queensware Direct from the Potteries
U.S. Importers of Staffordshire Ceramics in Antebellum America 1820–1860
Studies in Archaeological Material Culture No. 1
John A. Walthall

Guess what! There was my back mark, and the UK manufacturer, whom exported using the Babcock Brothers, was a Staffordshire Potter called Thomas Goodfellow.

Up to 1812, Goodfellow had actually leased a pottery in Burslem, Staffordshire, with then partner William Rhead, from Wedgwood, prior to moving to the Phoenix Pottery, Tunstall, Staffordshire. No wonder the dishes appeared similar to Jasperware!

After Rhead’s death, Thomas Goodfellow formed a partnership with William Bathwell (Rhead’s brother-in-law) in 1817, known as ‘Bathwell and Goodfellow.’ They were particularly well known for their blue and white pottery.

Bothwell and Goodfellow Blue and White Pottery


The company then passed to Thomas Goodfellow’s son, of the same name. Babcock Brothers imported  Thomas Goodfellow’s II (1802-1858) pottery between 1850 and 1862!

Fantastic, we had traced them!

In answer to the question:

‘What do the Babcock Brothers, Evansville, Indiana & Thomas Goodfellow have in common?’

These lovely blue and white shell dishes were made in Staffordshire at the Phoenix Pottery, Tunstall, by Bathwell & Goodfellow for import by the Babcock Brothers of Evansville, Indiana, for the U.S market.


Bathwell and Goodfellow Queensware Blue and White dishes. U.S Importer Babcock Brothers, Evansville, Indiana.

But one question remained unanswered.

How did the dishes destined for the U.S end up back in the UK? Did they ever leave the UK?

There was a reference in the Staffordshire Advertiser, in 1864, to the sale of one-hundred and seventy-eight crates of earthenware bound for the U.S. made by Thomas Goodfellow. These crates had been lying at Runcorn, England for four years since the death of Thomas Goodfellow.

Staffordshire Advertiser 2 Jan 1864

TO BE SOLD, by order of the Court of Chancery, 178 CRATES and CRATES of EARTHENWARE, suitable for the American Markets, manufactured by the late Thomas Goodfellow, Tunstall, and now lying at Runcorn.—To treat for the same, apply to James Vernon, Burslem.

We will never know for sure but since these dishes have turned up, one hundred and sixty years later, less than 10 miles from Runcorn, UK….

A coincidence?

What do you think?

A big Thank You to everyone in the V&A community for their comments and help with this detective story.