Television set and radiogram in cabinet, 'General Electric - Stereophonic', wood / metal / plastic / rubber, won by Frank Partridge on 'Pick-a-Box', made by James N Kirby Manufacturing Pty Ltd, Australia, under licence from General Electric, USA, 1962
Designed by General Electric USA using a Garrard UK designed record player
Made in Australia by James N. Kirby Manufacturing Pty Ltd under licence from General Electric Company USA. Turntable made in England by Garrard.
This object was won by the donor's father Frank Partridge on the 'Pick-a-Box' TV quiz show in 1962. Bob Dyer's 'Pick-a-Box' was Australia's first long-running TV quiz show, airing from 1957 to 1971. Frank Partridge made a number of appearances on the program in the early 1960s, where he won a number of prizes and took part in some keenly fought contests with Barry Jones, 'Pick-a-Box's most famous contestant. Partridge's first appearance on the show was on 22 January 1962.
While Barry Jones was a highly educated, self-assured school teacher, Frank Partridge was a modest, self-educated farmer who left school at 12. When Partridge won this television set he did not have electricity on his farm at Upper Newee Creek near Macksville. By the time his reign as TV's quiz champion ended, when Barry Jones beat him by one point, he had won 11,000 pounds worth of prizes, including cash, electric appliances, furniture, a block of land, a caravan and a car. He used the proceeds to build a new house for his bride Barbara. Having been Australia's youngest Victoria Cross winner in World War II, Frank Partridge was regarded as a role model and a war hero. 'Pick-a-Box' made him a celebrity and viewers loved him. At his wedding a crowd of 2,000 blocked the traffic.
Biographical information: Frank Partridge was born at Grafton NSW on 29 November 1924. He worked on the family farm before enlisting in the army on 26 March 1943. He was posted to the 8th Battalion, 23rd Brigade, and after jungle training on the Atherton Tableland his unit embarked for Lae, New Guinea, in May 1944.
In September 1944 his Brigade moved to occupy the outer Solomon Islands, then in June 1945 his Battalion joined the rest of his Brigade on Bougainville. Partridge's battalion was stationed in the northern sector of the island, with the aim of containing the enemy in the Bonis Peninsula area. It was here that Partridge won the Victoria Cross, for gallantry in charging an enemy bunker under heavy fire on 24 July 1945 while wounded by bullets in three places and losing blood.
Partridge received his Victoria Cross from the Governor General at Sydney on 13 April 1946, his being the last such award to an Australian during the Second World War. He was also the youngest Australian serviceman to win the Victoria Cross during the war, being just 20 years of age at the time of his action. He took part in the Victory March in London in 1946, attended the coronation celebrations in 1953 and was present at the Victoria Cross Centenary celebrations in Britain in 1956. His effigy was displayed at Madame Tussaud's in London to represent the typical digger. He was killed at the age of 39 after his car collided with a timber truck near Bellingen on 23 March 1964. He was buried at Macksville with full military honours. It was reported that 5,000 people attended the funeral. His son Lachlann (the donor) was three months old at the time. A public school at Nambucca Heads is now named after Frank Partridge.
In 1999 Lachlann Partridge donated his father's VC medal to the RSL, to be housed at the Australian War Memorial. In return, the RSL undertook to provide a Frank Partridge university scholarship through its benevolent fund.
Won by Frank Partridge on TV's 'Pick-a-Box' in 1962. Kept by his widow until her death. Donated to the museum by her son.