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In June, Radio magazine asked its readers who has the oldest transmitter in daily use today. Out of the responses the staff received, the oldest transmitter still in use is this Western Electric 4 A 1kW transmitter at WPIC-AM in Sharon, PA.

Installed in October 1940, WPIC was then on 780kHz, and moved to 790kHz on March 29,1941. Originally located in an adjacent room, it was moved to its present location in 1950. This was the WPIC main transmitter until 1966, when it was replaced by the Gates BC1G located nearby. 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 also uses Doherty modulation, which was the forerunner for the modern AM transmitter. Doherty, of Bell Laboratories, visited this facility in the 40s to adjust this transmitter. Western Electric believed that this was the "Cadillac"; of broadcast transmitters in the 40s and 50s. The best proof of its quality is demonstrated in its continued operation today.

That was then

In 1947 in Elkhart, IN, Clarence Moore founded the International Radio and Electronics Corporation (IREC), and converted a former chicken 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 missionaries in remote and often primitive regions of the world. Moore obtained a patent in 1949 for the first tape recorder with a built-in, 15W power amplifier.

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

Crown celebrates its 55th anniversary this year.

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