Kolster Brandes Limited 1924 - 1965

Manufacturer of radio receivers,
Manufacturer of televisions
British; American
born in:
Slough, England, United Kingdom

American-owned British television and radio manufacturer; descended from Brandes of Toronto (established 1908) which became part of American AT&T in 1922, with British branch Brandes Ltd established at Slough in 1924, producing radio accessories such as loudspeakers and headphones. The company moved to larger premises at Foots Cray in Kent in 1928. In 1930 the company was renamed Kolster-Brandes as a result of a merger of American parent company with Kolster Radio Corporation. Also in 1930, the company supplied 40,000 of its Masterpiece two-valve, bakelite cabinet radios to the Godfrey Phillips tobacco company, who gave them away to customers in exchange for cigarette coupons. In 1938 Kolster Brandes was reorganised under the ownership of ITT's British subsidiary STC (Standard Telephones & Cables); because of the link with STC, KB won the contract to install TV receivers in the Queen Mary and subsequently in other Cunard liners; as a result, most of their television receivers were given model names to reflect this and much was made in their advertising of the link with Cunard. From 1960 onwards KB acquired the brand names Ace, RGD, Argosy and Regentone. The company continued manufacturing television receivers under the RGD brand into the 1960s.