Crown Celebrates 60 Years

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Elkhart, IN - Jun 14, 2007 - Six decades ago, an Indiana minister named Clarence C. Moore (1904-1979) established a company to manufacture audio electronic products. Moore, a longtime radio enthusiast, had spent the early part of the 1940s in Quito, Ecuador, working for HCJB, the non-profit Christian broadcasting and engineering group. After his return to the United States, he focused his attention on supplying Christian broadcasters with quality electronic products. As a result, Moore founded International Radio and Electronics Corporation (IREC) in 1947 and converted a former chicken coop into the manufacturer’s first production facility.

The company's early reputation was built on a family of rugged and compact open-reel tape recorders designed to operate reliably when used by missionaries in remote, often-primitive regions of the world. After modifying and distributing several existing models (Magnecord, Recordio, Pentron and Crestwood) for the first couple of years, Moore obtained a patent in 1949 for a groundbreaking invention: the world’s first tape recorder with a built-in power amplifier (15 watts).

A mid-1950s photo of Clarence Moore (left) and his son, Clyde (also later a Crown president), with a some of the company’s early tape recorders.

Eventually, Moore's wife and co-founder, Ruby (who died in 2002), suggested that International Radio and Electronics Corporation was too long a name for the company. Because IREC had by this point produced vacuum-tube tape recorders branded Royal and Imperial, and that the emblem on these products was a fancy crown, she felt that the company should simply be called Crown. Her husband agreed, and, in the 1960s, the company’s name was changed to Crown International, a division of International Radio and Electronics Corporation. In 1975, the stockholders voted to change the name of the corporation to Crown International, Inc.

In the 1960s, the company introduced the DC300 high-power, solid-state amplifier, which offered 150 watts per channel at eight ohms and AB+B circuitry. Forty years later, many DC300s are still being used. In the 1970s, Crown launched the PSA-2 power amplifier with a built-in computer to maximize performance of its output transistors. Product diversification began with the introduction of the Pressure Zone Microphones (PZM) and TEF audio analyzer.

The company introduced its Grounded Bridge circuitry in the 1980s, and by the 1990s it developed computer-controlled audio systems. In March, Crown became part of Harman International.

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