1945 or 2022? Seventy-seven
years have passed since this photo of a vacuum tube manufacturing facility in China
was taken. Given that most new vacuum tubes are made in China, and that the labor
work conditions have not changed much in the intervening time period (except in
high-profile plants like
Foxconn where Apple products are made), this might very likely
represent a modern day operation. BTW, most of the vacuum tubes not being made in
China are made in Russia... to assure their antiquated infrastructure has an ample
supple of replacement parts. I say that only partly in jest. The largest market
for new vacuum tubes is music amplifier equipment and a few commercially made vintage
radio replicas (like the
Tesslor Model R601S). BTW,
Western Electric (the
telephone manufacturer for Bell, back in the day) is now manufacturing vacuum tubes
again. VacuumTubes.net claims to have
more than 12 million tubes is stock, both new and NOS.
Chinese Vacuum Tubes
JJ Electronics vacuum tubes, manufactured in China, available
new on Amazon.
is another Chinese vacuum tube producer that sells on Amazon.
Electro-Harmonix Russian vacuum tubes are also available on
Sovtek is another Russian vacuum tube manufacturer
whose products are sold on Amazon.
picture (right) was taken in the battery factory of
the Central Electric Works near Kweilin, China, before the Jap forces occupied the
city. The photograph shows the rather crude method employed in the manufacture of
radio tubes. Similar to American industries, girls do the intricate assembly work.
The city of Kweilin was recently retaken by the Chinese forces. However, there is
considerable doubt as to whether production at this plant has been resumed. The
radio industry in China has always been rather crude. Chinese officials aware of
this fact have recently made plans to adopt American production methods to facilitate
expanding the radio industry in China. Provisions have been made to send a group
of engineers to this country to study our production methods.
Posted May 26, 2022
(updated from original post on 2/27/2015)