Today, the radios are common on cars. However, at first in a few states in America placing the apparatus on cars it was banned because it was believed that radio distract the driver. But who introduced the first radio?
In 1929, William Lear and Elmer Wavering, two young boys from the US were the first people who came up with the idea of integrating the radio in car. But it was not as easy as it seems: The vehicles have electric equipment that generates static interference, making it almost impossible to listen to the radio when the engine was started. When they reached eventually to make the radio to function, identifying and eliminating every source of interference, they took it to a radio convention in Chicago. There they met with Paul Galvin, owner of Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. He made a product called “battery eliminator”, a device that allows radio with batteries to function in a household on AC. He believed that radios for production cars at affordable prices, have the potential to become a big deal. Lear and Wavering set up a workshop in Galvin factory, and when perfected their first radio installed they installed it in his Studebaker.
Once installed the radio in Paul Galvin’s car, he started promoting it. The businessman went to Atlantic City to show the radio to the Convention of Radio Manufacturers Association from 1930. He gave the volume up the radio at maximum outside the convention hall to capture everyone’s attention. And so he managed to gather tens of preorders to send the radio in production. The first model sent in production was named 5T71. Galvin decided that he needed to come up with something a little more appealing. In those days many companies in the phonograph and radio industry have used the suffix “Ola” to their name – Radiola, Columbiola and Victrola were three of the biggest. Galvin decided to do the same, since it’s radio was to be used in a motor vehicle, he decided to call it Motorola
But even with the name change, the radio has had still a problem: When Motorola went on sale in 1930, it cost approximately $ 110 not installed, in a time when you could buy a brand new car for $ 650, and the country was sliding into “Great Depression”. (Through this measure, a radio for a new car today would cost about $ 2,500.). These early radios were functioning on their own batteries, not the car battery so had to be made holes in flooring to fit them. The installation manual had eight complete charts and 28 pages of instructions.
But things took a good turn in 1933, when Ford began offering Motorola pre-installed from the factory. In 1934 they received another boost when Galvin entered into an agreement with BF Goodrich tire company to sell and present auto radios in their chain of tire stores. Until then the price of a radio with installation included dropped to $ 55. Motorola car radio was a success. (The company name will be officially changed from Galvin Manufacturing to “Motorola” in 1947.) Meanwhile, Galvin has continued to develop new uses for car radios. In 1936, it introduced the frequency adjustment button.
Elmer and William Lear Wavering, although they were first who had installed the radio in the Paul Galvin car went to separate ways. Wavering remained at Motorola. In the 1950s he helped change the automotive industry by inventing the first automobile alternator, replacing inefficient and unreliable generators. The invention brought luxury advantages to the cars such as electric windows, power seats and eventually air conditioning. These and other innovations earned Wavering the title of one of the first father of modern automotive electronics.
Likewise, Lear continued to develop new things. He holds more than 150 patents. Bill Lear developed the Lear Jet Stereo 8 music cartridge in 1964, better-known as the “8-track”. But what made him really famous are his contributions in the field of aviation. He invented the system of radio directives for aircraft, he helped in invention of autopilot, he designed the first fully automatic landing of aircraft, and in 1963 introduced his most famous invention of all time, “Lear Jet”, the first business jet in the world produced in series at affordable prices.
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