Mullards Close, CR4

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Stanley Robert Mullard (November 1, 1883 – September 1, 1979) was the founder of the Mullard Radio Valve Company which he started on September 17, 1920. Originally the valves were solely for use in military radios but with the creation of the BBC in 1922 Mullard moved into domestic production and was able to capitalise on civilian demand. Having started the company in a disused laundry in Claybrook Road, Hammersmith he moved it to a vacated glassworks in Nightingale Lane, Balham. Demand often exceeded output, in particular with the introduction of the BBC’s London transmitter. By demonstrating that reliable valves could be made cheaply, Mullard helped materially to lay the foundations of the British radio industry. Further increases in production and the establishment of the Mullard Wireless Co., to handle marketing and distribution, were followed by the need to move to a larger factory at Hackbridge, Mitcham in Surrey. Eventually the call for research facilities beyond the scope of such a young company led to the establishment in 1924 of close links with NV Philips in Holland and over the next few years Philips acquired all the shares in the company. Mullard was appointed managing director by the Philips board but resigned a few years later. At one time the site employed around 5,000 people but in 1993 the Hackbridge factory closed and has since been demolished. The new residential roads of Mullard Close, Philips Close and Eindhoven Close now occupy the site of the former A Building.

 

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