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Old 27-11-13, 18:35
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Winnipeg, MB
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Default The "C" Prefix on Canadian Wireless Equipment

Has anyone ever wondered about this prefix? Frankly, for years I never gave it a second thought, assuming it was some bureaucrats idea at some distant time to distinguish Canadian wireless equipment from everyone else's.

Recently, however, (and quite likely for a lack of better things to think about) I have realized this "C" prefix is definitely NOT a standard for Canadian made or used wireless equipment from the Second World War. It is beginning to look more and more like an RCA invention for some sort of internal production control usage. I took a closer look at my 27-Set and 58-Set, both Canadian made but not by RCA and there is no "C" prefix to the serial number. My RCA 19-Set components are all "C" prefixed, as are some Northern Electric items (but they took over 19-Set production from RCA later in the war). Crystal Calibrators are Marconi Canada. I have not seem many at all with a surviving serial number if the case is original and not repainted. They seem to fall into three categories: a blank white spot where a serial number should have been, one or two with a "C" prefix to the serial number, or lastly a large gob of black paint had been applied to the serial number field making it unreadable. Was this item designed by RCA but manufactured by Marconi?

Same thing with Wireless Remote Control Units. They were made by RCA, Northern Electric and Dominion Electric. Original cases for RCA units have a "C"prefix if the number was applied, but most sets are missing the serial number where it was supposed to be applied or it was painted over with a gob of black paint.

RCA AR88LF receivers, built in Montreal, were assigned serial numbers prefixed by a "C". Sets made in Camden, New Jersey are pure numbers.

Seems like a numbering system that could get hopelessly confusing with duplicate numbers for different products if one wasn't very careful.


Last edited by David Dunlop; 27-11-13 at 23:13.
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