RCA Tube Boxes (1920-1930)

RCA was in the business of selling tubes since its earliest days, though it didn't start manufacturing tubes on its own until 1930.  During its first decade, General Electric and Westinghouse made tubes for RCA, and the tubes and boxes were marked as such until about 1925, after which they bore only RCA markings.  Dating tube boxes is not always easy, as RCA's tubes were made in a number of different factories, and it was normal for one factory to continue to use an older box style while another factory used a newer one.

RCA UV-200, UV-201, and UV-201A Boxes

These four boxes are from the earliest period.  The two boxes on the left are the earliest, and were in use from Dec. 1920 through Sept. 1922.  The are for the GE versions of the UV200 and UV201 tubes.  Note the early "RC" logo.  In Sept. 1922, the familiar RCA "meatball" logo was introduced, and in Dec. 1922, the UV-201A was introduced.  It remained in production until August 1925.  The two boxes on the right (one Westinghouse, and one GE) are from this period.

Early WD-11 Tube Box

The WD-11, made by Westinghouse, was introduced in 1921.  The box shown here is the earliest version.  Later versions were similar to the other boxes shown on this page.

RCA UX-200, UX-200A, UX-201A, and UX-112 Boxes

The UX-200, UX-201A, and UX-112 were all introduced in August, 1925.  The UX-200A replaced the UX-200 in May, 1926.  Production of the UX-201A eventually reached into the millions, and they were made by literally hundreds of companies.  Many of these companies failed to bother with the minor formality of paying licensing fees to RCA (who controlled key patents), so many of these off-brand UX-201A's were "bootlegs". 

RCA UV-199 and UX-199 boxes

The UV-199 was introduced in December, 1922.  The box on the left would be from this period, and shows General Electric as the manufacturer.  The next two boxes are somewhat later, having lost the GE designation.  Why there are two sizes, I have no idea, as the UV-199 does not need the larger box.  The UX-199 (right) was added to the line late in 1925.

 RCA UX-171, UX-201A, UX-226, and UY-227 Boxes

The UX-171 was introduced in May, 1926, the UX-226 in Sept. 1927, and the UY-224 in April, 1929.  The box design shown above appears to have come into use in the 1926 time frame.

RCA 226, UY-224A, and UY-227 Boxes

In the last group, the UX-226 is now called the RCA-226, a change which appears to coincide with the formation of the RCA Radiotron, Inc. as the tube manufacturing arm of RCA.

The last box on the right is for a UY-227, developed for RCA by Westinghouse, and introduced in May, 1927.  This box has had round "Westinghouse Electric Supply Company" stickers applied on all sides, and on the top and bottom flaps, completely covering the RCA meatball logos.  The color of the box is also orange (a Westinghouse color), rather than the RCA red.  Exactly why this was done is a mystery to me.