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Chinese Vacuum Tube Manufacturing
October 1945 Radio News Article

October 1945 Radio News
October 1945 Radio News Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

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 - RF Cafe

JJ Electronics vacuum tubes, manufactured in China, available new on Amazon.

Golden Gate Chinese Vacuum Tubes - RF Cafe

Golden Gate is another Chinese vacuum tube producer that sells on Amazon.

Electro-Harmonix Russian Vacuum Tube - RF Cafe

Electro-Harmonix Russian vacuum tubes are also available on Amazon.

Sovtek Vacuum Tubes - RF CafeSovtek is another Russian vacuum tube manufacturer whose products are sold on Amazon.

Chinese Vacuum Tubes, October 1945 Radio News - RF CafeThis 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)

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RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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