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 Magic, for 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.