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 Post subject: "BesTest" Tube Corporation - New York, NY
PostPosted: Jan Sat 13, 2018 10:08 pm 
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Hi all! I am wondering about a tube brand I have never seen before online. I have a box full of these tubes, all labeled "BesTest" and apparently made in NY. I have a suspicion they may be made by GE as they use the same font and styling of "electronic tube" on it that GE does, and has the same dot code. One says "BesTest" and I have a GE tube for comparison.

My questions are:
1. Did GE have a plant in NY?
2. How to read tube manufacturer codes?
3. What is this company? Did GE make the tubes for BesTest and label them as such for them? Was BestTest some sort of house brand, and GE made tubes for them? Such as for a small store or business with a tube tester maybe? (Like how Silvertone is the brand for Sears, but Sears didn't make their own tubes).

It just has me curious, I always wondered. I never seen another BesTest tube and can't find anything about them online.
Images: https://imgur.com/a/dN8Q1


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 Post subject: Re: "BesTest" Tube Corporation - New York, NY
PostPosted: Jan Sat 13, 2018 10:24 pm 
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Best Test and many other off brands were overruns, 2nds, rejects etc the mfgr didn't want to put their name on... Were sold to rebranders who imprinted their name of choice... Sometimes the brand was removed but "Electronic Tube" such as GE used was still in place(I have a Triad with Electronic Tube, obviously GE)... Usually those tubes were advertised in the electronic periodicals of the day, common to see them for 33, 39 etc cents... What's on box may or may not be what's actually in there, often substitutes were re-typed... In some cases tubes are used...

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 Post subject: Re: "BesTest" Tube Corporation - New York, NY
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 10:15 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA
There are lists of the manufacturer codes around the internet, assigned by RMA and its successors.
These can be found on the bases of some tubes. GE is code 188. Here is one of the lists.

pacifictv.ca/pixs/eiatubecodelist.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: "BesTest" Tube Corporation - New York, NY
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 6:26 pm 
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Thanks for that!


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 Post subject: Re: "BesTest" Tube Corporation - New York, NY
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 6:27 pm 
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35Z5 wrote:
Best Test and many other off brands were overruns, 2nds, rejects etc the mfgr didn't want to put their name on... Were sold to rebranders who imprinted their name of choice... Sometimes the brand was removed but "Electronic Tube" such as GE used was still in place(I have a Triad with Electronic Tube, obviously GE)... Usually those tubes were advertised in the electronic periodicals of the day, common to see them for 33, 39 etc cents... What's on box may or may not be what's actually in there, often substitutes were re-typed... In some cases tubes are used...

Oh really? Didn't know that. They could all be rejects? They seem to be good quality tubes to me. All seem to test good. So these could be GE tubes relabeled as Best Test?


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 Post subject: Re: "BesTest" Tube Corporation - New York, NY
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 7:52 pm 
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Best Test could have had a deal with GE to buy extras of overruns, slow movers etc... Think I may have one or two...

I have a bunch of these, tubes inside all branded Nation-Wide...

Image

Also this is printed on tubes... From rust color of getter, most certainly used...

Image

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 Post subject: Re: "BesTest" Tube Corporation - New York, NY
PostPosted: Jan Mon 15, 2018 2:27 am 
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I see. Wow! I never knew this really happened with tubes, but it makes sense! I always thought all the odd brands were small companies/stores that had a big tube maker make tubes for them and put their brand on them. Interesting to see for sure!


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 Post subject: Re: "BesTest" Tube Corporation - New York, NY
PostPosted: Jan Tue 16, 2018 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Orlando, FL, USA
BesTest branded tubes were tubes stocked in "BesTest" department store tube testers. The BesTest business model was to franchise these out to folks that already serviced coin-op machines. They would get a customer to have the tester in their store and get repaid for any tubes sold. BesTest was active in the mid to late 1950s.

At "best", these are rebrands of uncertain origin. It is likely that BesTest bought them on the secondary surplus market and not from primary manufacturers.

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 Post subject: Re: "BesTest" Tube Corporation - New York, NY
PostPosted: Jan Sun 21, 2018 3:15 am 
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Wow, very good info here! Thanks for posting that! I looked everywhere, and couldn't fine any reference to a BesTest brand that made their own store testers, but it all makes sense now! I figured it was something along those lines.


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