Shaping radio today and tomorrow

November 1, 2002


Do you remember?

In June, Radio magazine asked its readers who has the oldesttransmitter in daily use today. Out of the responses the staffreceived, the oldest transmitter still in use is this Western Electric4 A 1kW transmitter at WPIC-AM in Sharon, PA.

Installed in October 1940, WPIC was then on 780kHz, and moved to790kHz on March 29,1941. Originally located in an adjacent room, it wasmoved to its present location in 1950. This was the WPIC maintransmitter until 1966, when it was replaced by the Gates BC1G locatednearby. It was returned to service in 1973 by Charles Ring CSRE CBNT,and meticulously maintained by Ring into the new millennium.

For its time, this transmitter uses an advanced circuit. It alsouses Doherty modulation, which was the forerunner for the modern AMtransmitter. Doherty, of Bell Laboratories, visited this facility inthe 40s to adjust this transmitter. Western Electric believed that thiswas the "Cadillac"; of broadcast transmitters in the 40s and 50s. Thebest proof of its quality is demonstrated in its continued operationtoday.

That was then

In 1947 in Elkhart, IN, Clarence Moore founded the InternationalRadio and Electronics Corporation (IREC), and converted a formerchicken coop into the manufacturer's first production facility.

The company's early reputation was built on a family of compact,open-reel tape recorders designed to operate when used by missionariesin remote and often primitive regions of the world. Moore obtained apatent in 1949 for the first tape recorder with a built-in, 15W poweramplifier.

In the 60s, the company's name was changed to Crown International, adivision of International Radio and Electronics Corporation.

Crown celebrates its 55th anniversary this year.

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