Larsen radios were made privately in the little town of Waihi where AkRad / Pye radios were made. The manufacturer, Harold Larsen, died in July 2001.
This is a 5 valve broadcast model from 1937. It has a 6 inch permag speaker. It would have originally had an electromag speaker. With a reasonable aerial, it goes quite well.
In all its glory, out of the cabinet. The flash makes it a little difficult to see the dial markings on the Mother of Pearl dial. Light from the single light bulb can be seen shining through the top of the dial.
The Larsen dial seen at night without a flash. Just a single bulb to light up the dial.
Here we can see the chassis layout including the old 2 piece Goat valve shields, and the replaced speaker and tranny.
Has been "operated on" at some stage, probably a few times. The only place the radio has any identification is on the power transformer which can be seen at the bottom left. "Larsen's Radio Service"
I have had contact with a gentleman who used to work with Harold Larsen. He wrote to me via email. His letter is copied here.
I have only just found your fascinating web site. I have spent the best part of an hour exploring but will have to go back and spend more time.
I was intrigued to see your reference to Larsen radios. I worked for Harold Larsen from 1942 till 1947; in fact I was his only apprentice. I later moved on to Philips radio factory in Wellington and then to various Auckland radio firms. I would like you to correct one or two points about Larsen; please take these not as criticisms but as constructive amendments.
Harold Larsen was the most brilliant radio engineer I met in my varied career. He was right at the top of his profession and well above any other technical person in the 1930s and 1940s.
Harold was educated at Hamilton Technical College as it as then called. He started his career with George Anchor who founded and operated Station 1ZH Hamilton in the 1930s. Harold started out on his own in the late 1930s.
I am intrigued by the illustration of the Larsen radio.. Harold had nothing to do with Akrad at Waihi although he knew Keith Wrigley who operated Akrad. Harold made all his radios at his workshop firstly at Railway Buildings, Hamilton and later (from 1940 when Ken Prime joined up) from Hood Street, Hamilton.
During the war years we made many radios but they were all made from bits and pieces and short runs of surplus cabinets that Harold bought from various sources. New radios were virtually non-existent from about 1940. WE made many to order and often made use of existing cabinets with a new chassis.
Harold first used the trade name *Royal* but discontinued this name because I think he found out that this was a protected name and could not be used for trade purposes. I would be very surprised if the radio illustrated is named *Larsen" because it was about 1941 before he started using the name Larsen. The cabinet looks 1937 vintage but can you tell me the valve line-up?
I am also surprised that you say this radio uses a pm speaker. The only people using pm speakers were Philips at that time. However do remember that we made up pm speakers during the war years using imported cones and home-made magnets.
I have some other bits and pieces of comments if you are interested. For example Murphy were distributed by Mair & Co. before Fisher and Paykel took them over.
I am looking forward to getting some more information from Brian in due course. But like the rest of us, he's probably pretty busy, so it could be a little while.
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