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“M-Tronic”, Islington: antiques arcade oldster

“M-Tronic Alarms Ltd.” burglar alarm, Islington • Recently there was much discussion under an old Lander box about the firm M-Tronic, and its successor Nu-Tron. To summarise, it was stated that M-Tronic was an east London company whose bell boxes were secured with two screws (just about visible through the rust here) similar to a Lander box, and whose owners sold out to Lander before going on to form Nu-Tron – a firm which will be discussed tomorrow. I’d never seen an M-Tronic sounder, and the commenters reckoned very few ever existed, but I’ve now discovered this incredibly oxidised, but still legible, M-Tronic example in the apt surrounds of an Islington antiques arcade. I’ve put it in the “retrofuturism” section because calling anything something-tronic sounds futuristically dated. And it also makes me think of futuristic-in-80s electro record label M-Tronic, and the similarly vintage electro-hip-hop duo Mantronix, whose logo serendipitously features yesterday’s computer typeface. Though even both of those old-skool “tronics” are probably more recent than this ancient alarm with its pre-01 phone number. Interesting phone fact: the prefix here, 555, is regularly used for fictitious phone numbers in American films and TV shows (see for instance The Simpsons), as it covers a special set of numbers not used by any US exchange. • Spotted: Camden Passage, Camden, London, N1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Islington South and Finsbury

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4 replies »

  1. Worked for M-Tronic (and later Nu-Tron, twice!).
    M-Tronic were based in Leytonstone and started by the Murrell family, hence the ‘M’ I left just before the sale to Lander around 84. I have a feeling, somewhere in my mum’s loft is a ‘new’ control panel, hand assembled in the Leytonstone office!

    • Thanks for the comment, and welcome to the blog – you’ll find quite a few veteran security pros sharing their reminiscences here.

  2. Fantastic example. For the avoidance of doubt, the M – Tronic bells were originally white. Im glad you picked up the fact of the two front screws that were similar to Lander sounders.

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Formerly

A book about disappearing London

Formerly cover.
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