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History
Tour of Western Electric

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All of the glass parts needed to make the Western Electric 300B are made right here at the plant. Here we see tubing as it is extruded into the flaring machine. The glass is heated to melting point and the machine spins the flare out. This flare, along with stem and other glass parts, will eventually become the base of the mount (More on that later).

Most of the metal parts of a tube have to be welded to the stem. A tweezer weld, made for Western Electric, is used to do this. Notice the Western Electric placard on the side of the welder.

Now, we are ready to form the mount. The mount is the part in the Vacuum Tube that actually does the work. It is the electronics of the tube. Here we see a skilled, long-time Western Electric worker begin assembly of the mount. The first step is to add the bottom mica.

The filament production is a very special and secretive process that gives Western Electric tubes their long life and reliability; therefore we could not photograph any of that process. The filament is coated with a proprietary chemical via a special system and taken up onto a large reel. To the stem, this filament is welded. The grid is then carefully tack welded into place and the plate is placed over the grid and welded into place.

The top mica is placed on and the final welds are made.

We now have a completed mount that is ready to be placed into mount trays.

Completed mounts are placed into trays and stored until they are ready to be joined with the envelope.

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