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Kolster-Brandes Ltd was an American owned, British manufacturer of radio and television sets based in Foots Cray, Sidcup, Kent.


The company was a descendant of Brandes, a Canadian company founded in Toronto in 1908. Brandes became part of AT&T in 1922 and a British subsidiary Brandes Ltd. was established in Slough, in 1924, to manufacture headphones.[1] The company rapidly expanded producing a range of loudspeakers and in 1928 moved to a former silk mill at Foots Cray. The company was renamed Kolster-Brandes Ltd. after the American parent company merged with the Kolster Radio Corporation. 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.[1] K-B also began a long association with Cunard after they won a contract to provide communications equipment for the RMS Queen Mary ocean liner. In 1938 K-B became part of ITT's British subsidiary STC.[1] The Foots Cray site was also shared by Brimar, another STC company founded in 1933 to manufacture American pattern valves for the British market.[2]


Kolster-Brandes later went on to make mid-range electronics such as radios, radiograms, televisions, tape recorders, amplifiers and gramophones.

KB made a large number of radios and radiograms, a few models of which were the 285, 422 Cavalcade, 666 and the CG20.

The company also made a popular selection of record players which include the Playtime, Gaytime, Dancetime, Tunetime and Rhythm, the last two of which are valve operated.

KB made the "Queen" tabletop television set. The set used 20 valves and operated at 12 kV.


  1. ^ a b c The Setmakers by Keith Geddes and Gordon Bussey (ISBN 0951704206)
  2. ^ http://www.stlqcc.org.uk/docs/milestones.htm