Columbus was probably one of the better known New Zealand brands, after the biggies from overseas.   In 1930, William Markoff, who later changed his name to Marks, started a small business in Wellington, winding transformers and making amplifiers. From this, one of New Zealand's largest radio manufacturers evolved. In 1931 he started making radios, and formed W.  Marks Ltd.  In 1932 the company name was changed to Radio Corporation (N.Z.) Ltd. Then in 1936 a new company was formed, Radio Corporation of New Zealand Ltd.  The company had been supplying parts and making radios for their own distribution, and for other companies as well.

The company were innovators, and had introduced such items as cadmium plating in 1934, one piece pressed chassis in 1936, and manufacturing of loudspeakers in 1937. They were the first N.Z. company to produce items such as valve sockets, wave change switches, paper and mica capacitors, and the manufacture of bakelite moulded parts like knobs etc. They were also one of the first to use edge-lit glass dials, and iron-core IF transformers, and coils. They were one of the earliest users of bandspread shortwave tuning

In 1937 a subsidiary company, Radio Centre Ltd was set up as a nation-wide chain to distribute their new brand, Columbus, throughout the country.

Even though they were often innovators, they were one of the last to stop using Electro-magnetic speakers. Although they made, and used, PM speakers, they didn't finish using EM speakers until 1954!  By 1961, the brand name Columbus had disappeared, followed by Radio Corp in 1982.

This one is just a little rough, but has the potential to be quite a nice one. It has 6 valves, 5 bands and a 10 inch electro-mag speaker. It looks as if its first repair may have been in October 1942. That is written on the front of the chassis in pencil, along with a couple of later dates.

Columbus Wooden Radio Before Restoration.

A good view of the pressed steel chassis, with all its bits, including the fully screened valves.

Columbus Radio Chassis.


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