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Crown International, Now Part of Harman, Turns 60

Crown International is noting its 60th anniversary.

Crown International is noting its 60th anniversary.

The company, now part of Harman International, was launched in 1947; it makes power amplifiers and microphones for pro audio markets.

Founder Clarence Moore, a minister from Indiana, started International Radio and Electronics Corp. after spending time working in Ecuador for nonprofit Christian broadcast group HCJB. He started the company to supply Christian broadcasters with electronic products — and according to a company history, converted a former chicken coop into its first production facility.

Early products included an open-reel tape recorder with a built-in 15-watt amplifier.

“Eventually, Moore’s wife and co-founder Ruby suggested that ‘International Radio and Electronics Corporation’ was too long a name for the company. Since IREC had by this point produced vacuum tube tape recorders branded ‘Royal’ and ‘Imperial,’ in addition to the fact that the emblem on those products was a fancy crown, she felt that the company should simply be called Crown. Her husband agreed, and, in the ‘60s, the company’s name was changed to ‘Crown International, a division of International Radio and Electronics Corporation.’ Finally, in 1975, the stockholders voted to change the name of the corporation to Crown International, Inc.”

Other notable products over the years include the DC300 high-powered, solid-state amplifier; PSA-2 Power Amplifier; a line of Pressure Zone Microphones; TEF audio analyzer; Macro-Tech and Micro-Tech amplifier lines; Com-Tech amplifier series; and the K2 amplifier.

Mark Graham is the current president. Corporate headquarters remain in Elkhart, Ind.