Loewe 3NF radio valve, 1926-1966
Loewe 3NF radio valve, made by Loewe and Company, Tottenham, London, England, 1926-1966.
The Loewe multiple valves contained the components from several different type of valves in one, and can be called the world's first integrated circuit. At the time, radio manufacturers had to pay a royalty to the Marconi Company for each radio receiver produced, based on the number of valve holders it contained. The Loewe multiple valve contained all the components needed for radio reception in a single valve, meaning that only one valve holder was required. Thus a single valve could be used, along with a coil, to create a cheap but effective radio receiver. One downside of the multiple valve was that if one of the filaments blew, the whole valve was rendered useless. Loewe dealt with this by offering a filament repair service.