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Decoding RCA Factory Codes:


It makes perfect sense, that from early days, General Electric set a high bar for factory mechanization and process.

Once you grow to the point of having multiple factories making the same parts, there comes the need to trace back defects to their origin. Even, more so with secret factories acting as independents. Making tubes was not an inexpensive process in the early years, and every tube that was returned as defective, caused ripples in the supply chain. GE was determined to push down cost and pull up quality - and this required figuring out ways to mark tubes.


From my own study, it's clear that since the days that the Cleveland factory was added, there were 'secret' marks placed on the stem glass. H-13 is to run into, as are 'unmarked' stems. 


As we see variation in font, placement, etc in the ink stamping on tubes, and then later the engravings done in bakelite - we generally brush it off as variations present when updating a die-cutting tool, a font guide, or mold. 

Brother Dowd did spectacular work in decoding the later marks done in Bakelite, and generalized about later brass based ink markings.

Id like to tie all of this together into the variant map and build a master decoder. Massive credits to Brother Dowd. ACA ran his stuff a ways back. 



Factory Codes from [1-Feb-1925 through 1-May-1930]

Transcribed by Chris Benson, from Brother Dowd's work:

BKNT Horizontal Logos with the RCA meatball above or left of Radiotron where the model number is not wrapped in dashes

[1925-1928]

  



Survey counts to assist with scarcity



 (A) unbroken line (B) single broken line (C) double broken line (D) other
 (1) No dashes GE - Newark GE - Harrison GE - Cleveland
 (2) Single dash


GE - Ivanhoe (no line)
 (3) Triple dash WLCo - Bloomfield #1 WLCo - Bloomfield #2 RCA/Victor - Indianapolis



Below lists the known RCA/Cunningham Factories involved in Series 11/12/200/201 tube manufacturing. UX-201a examples will be sought to document base style coding. Many variations of factory codes were never used with these tube series, and so will not be covered.

Annectdotal evidence suggests that the 11/12 series and possibly the 200, were never made past the June 1930 retooling.

After Jun 1930, the UX-201-A became the 01 or 01A, and was made in small numbers, using the ST form, and octagon envelope ID label. It's presumed that these were made in response to a worry that the backstock of 201-As would run out with remaining demand. That hints that  

January 2019, Chris Benson


General Electric Co. [1]

"Harrison #1"   [1914? - 1929]
Edison Lamp Co. - Harrison Lamp Works #1
Bergen St & S. 5th ave, Harrison, New Jersey, USA



"Harrison #2"   [aft Mar 1932 - ]
General Electric Co. - Harrison Lamp Works #2
Bergen St & S. 5th ave, Harrison, New Jersey, USA



"Cuyahoga"   [Dec 1919 - 1985]
Cuyahoga Lamp Plant - Prototyping labs
1975 Noble Road, Cleveland, Ohio, USA



"Cleveland"   [Dec 1919 - 1932]
Edison Lamp Co. - Euclid Glass Works #30
1133 East 152nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio, USA



"Ivanhoe"   [aft Mar 1932]
General Electric Co. Factory - Ivanhoe Works
1099 Ivanhoe Road, Cleveland, Ohio, USA




"Schenectady"   [aft Mar 1932]
General Electric Co. Factory - Schenectady Works
Schenectady, New York, USA




Westinghouse Lamp Co. [1]

"East Pittsburgh"   [bef 1920 - ]                        [2]
Westinghouse Lamp Co. - E Pittsburgh Lamp Works
East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA



"Bloomfield"   [Dec 1915 - 1935]
Westinghouse Lamp Co. - Bloomfield Works #324
Arlington Avenue, Bloomfield, New Jersey, USA



"Bloomfield #2"   [by 1929 - 1935]
Westinghouse Lamp Co. - Bloomfield Works #330
Arlington Avenue, Bloomfield, New Jersey, USA



"Newark"   [bef 1920 - ]
Westinghouse Lamp Co. - Newark Lamp Works
Newark, New Jersey, USA




"Indianapolis"   [abt 1929 - ]
Westinghouse - RCA Victor Indianapolis Works #5
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA



Bibliography references:
  1. "Dating the RCA (Cunningham) Composition-base Radio Receiving Tubes". by Brother Patrick Dowd, WG2K; AWA Sep 1978 *
  2. Westinghouse Annual Catalog of Electrical Supplies, Jan 1920. *

RCA Series 199 | RCA Series 11 & 12

RCA Series 200 | RCA Series 201

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