Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,100 pages of information and 233,633 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Radio Rentals

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Radio (detail)
July 1940.
September 1940.
July 1945.
November 1950.
1950. Model 60. Exhibit at Amberley Working Museum.
March 1979.

of Bentinck Street, London.

1930 Company founded by Mr. P. Perring-Toms, a radio dealer in Brighton who was one of the first to foresee the potential market for renting of radio sets.

1936 Public company. About 50,000 rental customers.

1945 Acquired Mains Radio Gramophone Ltd, a manufacturing company in Yorkshire, in order to ensure the supply of radio set

in 1930 by Mr. J. W. C. Robinson, the present chairman of Radio Rentals.

1953 Manufacturer of TV sets [1]

1960 Acquired the Baird Company. Radio Rentals changed the name of its manufacturing subsidiary in Bradford, Mains Radio Gramophone, to Baird Television, to emphasise its position in the manufacturing of televisions.[2].

1961 Manufacturers, designers, repairers and renters of television, radio and radiogramophones. 4,500 employees. [3]

1964 Merger of 2 leading rental chains, Radio Rentals and Rentaset Ltd. Mr. J. W. C. Robinson became chairman of Radio Rentals

1966 Radio Rentals group acquired the three year old Vista Rentals company.

1968 Thorn Electrical Industries made take-over bid for Radio Rentals. At the time, Radio Rentals manufacturing divisions included Goodmans Loudspeakers Ltd, Metal Developments, Monk Metal Windows and Baird Television and Telerection.

1978 Thorn Television Rentals was one of 6 television rental companies examined by the Price Commission; it was one of 2 companies singled out as having a high degree of profitability and subject of a recommendation for a price freeze. The company traded under the names: Radio Rentals, Domestic Electric Rentals (DER) and Multibroadcast[4]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Choosing your Television Set. Published by Freelance in 1953.
  2. The Times, 12 December 1960
  3. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  4. The Times Sept. 21, 1978
  • Competition Commission report [1]