Consumer Products

Many famous recording artists appeared on the Pye record label

A unique moment occurred after the end of World War 2 when the enormous quantity of technological advance made during that period could be commercially exploited in the form of a vast array of consumer items.


Radio developed very quickly in the period after 1945 and Pye were able to manufacture quality sets in the tens of thousands per year.


The model 15A was Pye’s first post war domestic receiver. Its ‘quick release’ chassis was held by only two screws, the result of wartime improvements in receiver design.

It was a 3 valve plus rectifier, three waveband superhet running on ac mains.

There was provision to connect a gramophone pickup and the radio featured a switched tone control called “The Tonemaster”. The settings were called “Fidelity, Brilliant, Mellow 1 and Mellow2”.

The price was £15.0.0 plus £3.4s.4d purchase tax.


In 1956 Pye developed some of the first British transistors. They used them in the first British transistor radio using a subsidiary brand (Pam).

They used the Pam name because they did not want to damage the Pye brand if transistors were unsuccessful.

The Pam 710 proved to be very successful so Pye launched the Pye P123BQ in January 1957 which used many of the same parts as the Pam 710.


Model PE80 ‘Cambridge International’ was a 9 valve (including tuning indicator), 11 waveband table radio. It had LW, MW and 9 SW bands.

Fenman 2 Radiogram


This 1108 4 waveband receiver is one of the last Pye products designed by Robin Day. This model won a Design Centre Award.


During the last years war CO Stanley anticipated a large post-war TV market so TV development was secretly restarted before the war ended.

Pye were ready with new sets when the BBC relaunched their TV service .

Pye introduced 9“ console and table top television sets still using the EF50 valve called the B16T and D16T in 1946.

The designs benefited significantly from the Development and Production experience that Pye had gained during the war.

In 1948 Pye introduced the innovative B18T and D18T (mains transformer less) console and table top television sets.

Previous models had used a mains transformer to produce the high voltage required to operate the picture tube which was expensive and also potentially lethal to anyone servicing the set.

C O Stanley had long been an advocate of Commercial TV and ensured that Pye were the first manufacturer to have a TV that could receive Band III transmissions to receive ITV.

The Pye VT4 had a 13 channel tuner and was ready for the launch of ITV in September 1955.

Pye began Colour Television Development in 1946 and showed early prototypes at the 1949 RadiOlympia show.

For the next few years Pye continued to develop the technology and in 1953 Pye demonstrated the improvements at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation when Pye was able to show the procession in colour relayed live to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for sick children and to certain other venues.


A natural addition to the home was an audio system and Pye quickly understood this and produced a range of high quality audio systems, together with the records to play on them. A recording device employing a magnetic disc was also launched, targeted at the 1960s band market.

The Black Box valve record player was launched in 1953 under licence from CBS.

CO Stanley was so taken with the handsome lines and quality of sound reproduction that he demonstrated it himself to dealers. This endeared him to the shop keepers that Pye depended upon for sales.

Contrary to its name most Black Boxes were in mahogany finish. This example is a Chinese lacquered Black Box available at extra cost.

Pye entered the record business when it bought Nixa Records in 1953 and Polygon Records in 1955. The best known artists were: Lonnie Donegan (1956–69), Petula Clark (1957–71), The Searchers (1963–67), The Kinks (1964–71), Sandie Shaw (1964–71), Status Quo (1968–71), Brotherhood of Man (1975–79)

The company entered the budget-priced album market in 1957 with Pye Golden Guinea Records, priced at a guinea (one pound and one shilling).

In 1956 Pye launched the Record Maker. This was a record player that could play conventional records but could also record onto magnetic disks using a special magnetic record head. It came complete with a microphone and a magnet which could be used to erase the disk if required in order to re-record.

In 1964 Pye launched the Pye Achoic stereo record player. This was designed in partnership with CBS Laboratories in the USA.

Domestic Appliances

Leonard George Hawkins founded his company LG Hawkins & Co. Ltd in 1913, after a visit to the USA, where he saw the growing market for electrical appliances for the home.

Having initially imported products from the USA, during the 1920s and 1930s his company developed all manner of appliances for the home.

In 1939, Pye bought LG Hawkins and Co Ltd and Leonard Hawkins joined the board of Pye Radio.

The Pye Polly electric tea and coffee maker of 1954.

An earlier advertisement for Hawkins wide range of domestic products.

First introduced in 1931 by Hawkings, and later Ekco, it was initially aimed at the industrial catering market being all metal plate and tubular steel.

It became very popular in the 1950s and 60s when dinner parties were in vogue.