Astor - Radio Corporation - Electronic Industries was the largest Australian electronics manufacturer, manufacturing across the retail sector of products from Washing Machines to Radio. Astor, which began operating in 1926, making electronics in Victoria; the firm was innovative in that it offered radios in dynamic designs and colours compared with the conservative designs offered by other companies. Astor bought its competitors and Essanay. However, it was itself bought by the English electronics company Pye Ltd in the 1960s, Pye was taken over by the giant Philips electronics company. Astor produced TV, Washing Machines and Tumble Dryers and other white goods for the Australian domestic market borrowing from design patents from other overseas companies products with the understanding that the companies free use of these in production and consumer markets would not become more ambitious than the local Australian market share. Astor produced a controversial Mickey Mouse Radio and Astor became embroiled in a long-running court battle with Disney over the use of the Mickey Mouse name and logo.
The result was that Astor was forbidden to use the name "Mickey Mouse" for its radios, but it continued to produce the “Astor Mickey" radio for the next 16 years. The Demise began in earnest in about 1970, it had been absorbed into Philips with a buy out and had started moving it's manufacturing to Clayton from It's South Melbourne factory. The daily organiser known as "Miss Hurley", in print for all jobs advertised at the firm was ubiquitous to all the job advertisements at Grant Street, South Melbourne. Mr Wood was the person of contact in the Clayton premises and records reflect that by 1971 all Astor dealings were from the Clayton location and that by this date they had moved manufacturing over to Clayton; the database of news articles reflects that a sudden demise occurred at Astor better known as Electronic Industries by this stage. This sudden demise was sometime in 1972. By the beginning of 1973, Radio Corporation had ceased to exist which reflects that a sudden end of production had come into effect - no further production of TVs or Radios at least by 1973 and no further positions advertised by this date.
100s of regular employment advertisements by Radio Corporation in 1972, advertising for solderers, product designers and plastic moulders reduced to nothing at all by 1973. Astor refrigeration and Freezers seemed to advertise until 1975 for the sale of those respective white-goods however no jobs at Radio Corporation were advertised further; the white-goods advertisements like fridges and freezers ended beyond 1975. From 1973 onward only the Astor Music Division prevailed from the same company location in Clayton where manufacturing had been done. Advertisements for Music Developers and experts in vinyl pressing were sought; the most famous release by this date was "Joe Dolce - Shuddup-You-Face" from 1981 under the Astor label - of Lygon Street, Melbourne fame. This record reached number 1 on the Australian music charts, it must have been an quick exit from the market for Astor. Mr Huyer featured predominantly in the media discussing the 25% Tariff reductions. After Philips took hold of EIL which meant the takeover of Astor and its subsidiaries in 1970, all Astor dealings were from Clayton within 2 years and the promise of "great employment with career progression", touted in advertisements for positions at Astor / Radio Corp swiftly ended after 1972.
Welders and Wiring experts were advertised for by the 100s in the papers. In 1972 Astor vanished from the employment section of the newspaper database under Radio Corporation, it is possible that Electronic Industries continued to produce its fridges and Dryers up to 1974 from its Clayton plant, however a news article from Mr Huyer of Philips cites the Tariff reduction scheme of 25% in 1973 as the reason workers would be laid off in "stages" in 1973/4 however it seems that the company manufacturing had certainly ended by 1973. We can only assume it was an early decision by Huyer to close all the radio and television manufacturing first. In retrospect it would have been such a strange experience to have been a new employee who applied for the industrial design position at Astor in 1971 for example - to design and conceive concepts for TVs and Radios into the future for Astor only to lose your job the following year - it happened to many employees who applied for positions in the early 1970s at Astor.
Astor House in Grant Street, South Melbourne was being sub-let by 1974 to office space - vacated by Astor/Radio Corporation and had cleared out by this date or they used several floors of the building only by this stage. It was noted in an article that "receivership" meetings were being held here by with no other affiliation with Astor other than that the meetings took place at "Astor House" of Grant street, South Melbourne. By the late 1970s the Astor name must have been removed from the building and the famous name had vanished from the domestic appliance market completely; such an unexpected and sudden end to one of the most innovative and powerful companies in the Australian electronics market with the demise being due to Philips of Holland taking over the remainder of EIL in 1970 and the issues Mr Huyer had in consolidating and removing the unprofitable subsidiaries of Philips in Australia one by one from 1970. There were 60 subsidiaries of Philips at this stage of which
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