The EF85 is a VHF variable μ pentode and is the counterpart to the EF80 straight RF pentode. Clearly this places the valve in a superhet context with AGC applied to the RF and IF sections. At the time it was designed television receivers operated on Band I at about 50 MHz and from 1955 also on Band III at around 175 MHz. The EF183, released in the 1960s, overtook its performance just as the EF184 replaced the EF80.
The EF85 was tasked with IF amplification in VHF/AM radio receivers.
When Band IV and Band V UHF television entered service in the early to mid 1960's the front end required specialised triodes to operate at 400 - 850 MHz.
The holes in the anode are opposite the coating inside the glass. This coating is present to stop gas being released from the glass under electron bombardment.
The coating on the other side.
The thin glass tube envelope is 21 mm in diameter and, excluding the B9A base pins, is 59 mm tall.
References: Data-sheet & 1040. Type EF85 was first introduced in 1951. See also1951 adverts.