DeForest Audion Box with French Markings

DeForest Audion Box with French Markings

The DeForest Audion above has a double plate, double grid with the customary double loop filament and came in the box shown and is un-used. It is from the 1912-1914 period with the pasted-on Hudson filaments. The Hubbell socket is contemporary in age to the audion. These type of screw base audions were some of the last made at DeForest’s high bridge plant.

The DeForest audion above came in a comtemporary and familiar box compared to the French marked box below that was purchased before the red paper tag was attached. The audion has the double plate, grid and double loop tungston filament with the ground tantalum pasted to the top of each loop. The audion and the Bryant socket are old but the rest is newer. Both filaments are intact.

I received in the mail today this very interesting DeForest Audion box made between 1912 or 14. See pictures above.

The possible history:
The box obviously a DeForest product and held a spherical audion at some point. The oddity is the 2 French paper labels pasted on which I have translated in picture #6. All that was inside the box was the normal packing material. 

In France, just before WW1, in was clear that they needed to do much work on their vacuum tube for use in the war. To that end, the Télégraphie Militaire or Military Telegraphy section of the French Government sent its director, Gustave Ferrie and his right – hand man Henri Abraham, to the US to purchase DeForest Audions for the purpose of study and to determine if his design could be used. No one knows how many or the type.  Edouard Branley also secured examples of the audion while on a visit to the US in 1913 and 14. Paul Pichon in early 1914, a Frenchman, while working for the German company Telefunken, also visited DeForest and McCandless and returned with much information and further examples. On his trip home he stopped to visit relatives and was stopped by the group Ferrie had assembled. Since war with Germany was imminent, they persuaded him to turn over all he had learned and his audions. In the end, it was found to be too hard to make and too fragile. The TM tube became their accepted very good design. 1912 and 13 cash and miscellaneous McCandless sales could account for what they purchased but they could have acquired the audions from DeForest himself. 
McCandless sales here: MS_R

Some very good history of the French interest in DeForest tubes and their actions taken can be seen in another article this author presented called “Vacuum Tubes of WW1: France, Britain, US” in the French section here: and also here: HIST

To be noted- the center picture on the top three has a mistake in the patent numbers. The patent number on the top right – 841397 is incorrect. It should read: 841387. This mistake is shown on 2 of this authors 6 audion boxes. This is confirmed to be true.

In any case, enough examples of audions made it to France that the box presented is possible. How did it return to the US is the big question. Tyne may have had something to do with the box returning to the US as he did much business with collectors in France and Europe in general. Just a guess?

Open for opinions so feel free to add another guess.

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