The tubes above are 1951 Lansdales. The left tube is labeled for Hytron. The right tube is labeled for National Union.
This tube above is another National Union labeled Lansdale long black plate from 1951. See the stop sign around the 12AU7? This is one of the trademarks of late 40's early 50's Lansdale. The getter was a square getter attached directly to a plate corner.
These tubes above are mid 1950's Lansdales. The stop sign around the 12AU7 was flattened out. The getter is now a horseshoe getter on post. These tubes are very often mistaken to be Sylvania, due to some similarities in appearance and marking. As a matter of fact, this photo comes from an eBay listing I won. They were incorrectly sold as Sylvania. The seller still continues to mistake these tubes in his listings.
Above is a pair of very nice Lansdale Tube Co. a division of Philco long gray plate 12AU7. JAN-CBRZ is the military designation for Philco. These are mid-50's, but still have the early type square getter on plate. This very tube is mis-sold as a 'CBS' by a prominent west coast tube dealer.
The above tubes are Philco/Lansdale 6189 black plates with FOIL getter. These are also often mis-listed as Sylvania. Sylvania was not directly a part of Lansdale or Philco until long after these tubes were made.
Actually, one of the more darkly comical things I have seen on eBay is when the notorious seller of fake tubes, OldGuyRadiola, put false Sylvania labels on these tubes, to justify a higher price. Hey man, if you are going to fake labels, at least get it right! ;)
The Lansdale Tube Company is one of the least well known and understood USA vintage tube maker. I see their tubes most often mis-identified and sold on eBay as Sylvania. Even the 'big boys' get it wrong. One of the most prominent internet sellers of tubes sells Lansdale tubes as 'CBS', even as the tube box in his photos clearly spell out that they are 'Lansdale Tube Co. made for Philco'.
Philco you say? I thought we were talking about Lansdale! Well, yes we are. And we are also talking about a third company, called National Union.
Here is a cut/paste of an e-mail I sent recently to a fellow tube enthusiast about the Philco/Lansdale/National Union trifecta...........
National Union and Philco are more intertwined than a single tube factory. It seems that around 1940, Philco purchased a controlling interest in National Union.
Then in 1942 the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a government financier and major player in supplies for the war effort built a tube factory in Lansdale, PA, to be managed by National Union. After the war was over in 1945. the RFC put the Lansdale factory on the market. (Click the newspaper clipping photo from December of 1945 for supporting evidence, or click the direct link below, as long as it may remain active)
In 1946-1947, Philco sold its controlling interest in National Union, and bought the Lansdale plant from the RFC.
The Lansdale plant went on to become the Lansdale Tube Co., a division of Philco.
National Union continued, still owning a lab and two factories in New Jersey, until at least 1954, when they changed their name from National Union Radio to National Union Electric. Also in 1954, they sold much of their existing tube capabilities, if not all, to Sylvania. By 1960, National Union was no longer known for tubes, rather, for making heating and air systems!
By the early 60's, Philco had changed quite a bit as well, having sold out to the Ford Motor Company. Now, it was car radios being made in the Lansdale factory!!! By the mid 1970's, Sylvania had ownership of Philco.
So, the Lansdale Tube Co. came into being in about 1946 when Philco purchased the tube factory in Lansdale, PA, from the government. Up until that time, the factory had been run by National Union.
The Lansdale Tube Co. made some of the VERY, VERY BEST 12AU7 tubes I have ever, ever heard. Especially the long black plates, made in the late 40's and early 50s. These were often labeled as Philco, with yellow paint. I also have pairs made for their former partner, National Union, as well as pairs made for Hytron. The Hytron labeled Lansdale tubes can be very, very easily confused with actual Hytron made tubes. There is very little difference at all in the construction. A keen eye will note a difference in the holes in the mica, but the most telling mark is the Lansdale made Hytrons will have the trademark symetrical octagon 'stop-sign' around the 12AU7 label near the top of the tube. Very similar to early RCA noval tube labeling. And example of this stop sign can be seen at the above left, SECOND picture down from the top.
These Lansdale made black plates rival any 12AU7 or ECC82 ever made. Yes, they are that good. If you have an amp that makes use of the 12AU7, you owe it to yourself to hear the Lansdale Black Plate 12AU7.