Export or Die!

A little melodramatic we may think, but in the immediate post-war era this slogan was employed by the British government to exhort all British manufacturers to bring in foreign revenue (sometimes to the detriment of domestic production) in support of economic growth. It would appear that Murphy Radio began the export drive somewhat earlier... Of course there had been export of sets in previous years on an 'ad hoc' basis but there were no Murphy dealers outside of the British Isles (including Eire). This was to change...
This XA92 console receiver was produced in Mauritius in 1942.
Murphy exported completed table models and chassis to be fitted into locally manufactured radiogram & console cabinets.
The initial production models bore the prefix 'X' and were based on the 1940 domestic models. These radios may be distinguished from the domestic version by the lack of Longwave band and the dial lettering is in green. This was just the beginning. In the years following the end of the war Murphy Radio began production of receivers intended specifically for export...

'T' is for Tropicalised

  • Q: What is an Englishman's favourite topic of conversation?
  • A: The weather!
It's amazing really, the climate in England is remarkably temperate! Neither too hot nor too cold. Well, it would be nice if it only rained at night but we can't have everything...
In other parts of the world any radio receiver would have to reliably work under more extreme conditions. From the cold of the Antarctic to the heat of the Tropics. From the Arid deserts to the humid Monsoon. These potential operating conditions gave the engineering department at Murphy Radio quite a challenge: better quality components were required with better encapsulation. Wooden cabinets had to be made resistant to attack by a greater variety of voracious insects...
Murphy Radios manufactured for export meeting these exacting specifications bore the prefix 'T'. Some export receivers bore the prefix 'S' - standing for semi-tropicalised. This latter category includes the SAD94S & SAD94L. Both of these were readily available for domestic use; it's all rather confusing really.
I don't know quite what the difference was between 'S' and 'T' - I would guess that it was a case that the fine men in engineering had not done the research to be able to guarantee the fully tropicalised specification at the time.
This trade must have proved reasonably lucrative as in 1946 a special version of 'The Murphy News' catchily entitled 'The Overseas Murphy News' was introduced (do you have any copies of 'Overseas Murphy News'? I only have one issue and I would love to see some more!).

Service information for these models wasn't routinely circulated to UK Murphy Dealers, so this information is very difficult to obtain.

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'E' is for Europe

Some Murphys were intended for export Europe. At least one of these, the EU102 bore the prefix 'E'. The EU102 is based on the U102 but with provision for 110v mains operation.
The 'E' prefix was subsequently reborn for 625-line export televisions. The first such model, the EV360, was a laboratory prototype television based on the V310. I don't know if Murphy had a significant trade in exporting televisions...
As an aside, I should say that Murphy models exported to Europe were either the standard domestic radios (sometimes the dials get translated) or the 'L' suffix (with longwave band) export models, e.g. TA194L

murphy radios in Ireland

Murphy radios were available for sale in Ireland from fairly early in company's history. I assume that there were dealerships appointed. The 'Murphy News' often quotes 'Eire prices' for many of the models. The snag for any company exporting is that of import duty. Such goods tend to be more expensive than the local product. Many of the big names radio made sets in Ireland so Murphy was at a disadvantage. This situation was addressed in 1949 and a factory was established in Dublin.
This allowed Murphy to make many models which were quite unique to the Irish market...

Kiwi murphys

Even easier than building a factory, get someone else to make your radios for you! At some time after the War, Murphy licensed the manufacture of their radios in New Zealand to Westco Products Ltd. Westco, (formerly Westonhouse Radio Ltd.) specialized in manufacturing radios for third parties... The Murphys made in their Auckland factory were standard Murphy export models. This relationship ceased in 1956 and Westco went out of business shortly after. The license to manufacture radios under the Murphy name passed to Allied Industries Ltd. - a subsidiary company of Fisher & Paykell who were to distribute the radios. The latter company had previously imported and distributed radios of the 'Pilot' brand. 'Allied' Murphys were more suited to the NZ market and bore only passing resemblance to UK models. They often used obsolete UK cabinet designs (e.g. the U198 cabinet is reborn as the M101 'Magna').

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