Deep Dive: Exploring the Exhibits

Brandes Superior Matched Tone Headphones

This is a set of Brandes Superior Matched-Tone headphones, manufactured between 1919 and 1921. These headphones were used in early radio work and illustrate the original context of the term "headphones. The manufacturer of this set is Brandes Incorporated, located in New York.

Written on the outside of the ear pieces are the following: C. Brandes, Inc.

New York

Superior

+

"Matched Tone"

Trade Mark Reg. U.S. Pat. OFF

Made in U.S.A.

Pat Pending

Brandes had its origins as a Canadian company founded in Toronto in 1908. Shortly after these headphones were made, Brandes would then become a part of AT&T in 1922, with a British subsidiary named "Brandes Ltd." established two years later in Slough, Berkshire. They would later go on to produce a variety of loudspeakers as well. After the American parent company merged with the Kolster Radio Corporation (based in Newark, New Jersey), they would be known as Kolster-Brandes Ltd. and continue to supply bakelite cabinet radios. During their time in the industry, they made mid-range electronics such as radios, tape recorders, televisions, amplifiers and gramophones.

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