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Histories Of Makers of Sound Powered Equipment

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Time Magazine Ad
August 7, 1944
Pacific Bell Ad
finder Owen Pool 
Life Magazine
May 21, 1945 
Pacific Bell Ad
PT Boats 
Western Electric Ad
U.S. Merchant Marines
Life Magazine
September 1944
Western Electric Ad

RCA (Radio Corporation of America)

    The RCA company is now under way writing their- history. I hope to have it shortly. The sound powered units made during W.W.II were made by General Electric (GE) for RCA. Later RCA made their own elements. The headsets, bands, cords etc. were always made by RCA. Just the elements were made for a short time by GE.

Stromberg Carlson
    Stromberg Carlson made their own unit including the elements. Some think Dynalec made their elements, but this is not the case. Read Dynalec history below to see how and when they started. Stromberg Carlson started in 1894 in Chicago by two Swedish men and manufactured telephones at first.  In 1904, Stromberg-Carlson's original Chicago plant was closed and all operations were moved to Rochester, New York.  They supplied sound powered equipment to the Navy during W.W.II. In 1955 General Dynamics, a major defense supplier, was attracted by these scientific  abilities and Stromberg-Carlson's developments in electronics.  in 1955, the two companies merged. During the 1960's, in an effort to consolidate the wide range of products they were manufacturing, Stromberg-Carlson decided to concentrate on their traditional market: the U.S. independent telephone industry.   In the late1950's, they acquired the United States Instrument Corporation (USI) in Charlottesville, Virginia - a major manufacturer of telephone components and Sound powered equipment during W.W.II. Over the next few years, the telephone manufacturing divisions of Stromberg-Carlson were moved to Charlottesville into what was the US Instruments plant. At this point the patents and plant manufacturing Sound powered handset (USI) was sold to Dynalec Corporation a new starting  company. With that purchase was the rights to US Instruments sound powered equipment. Stromberg Carlson continued to build and sell to the Navy headsets untill the mid 1980's. In 1982 Comdial Corporation,  purchased the Charlottesville facility from General Dynamics. The headset were then made by Dynalec Corporation now in Sodus, New York. The rest of Stromberg Carlson was sold to Seimens Corp. and is part of that company today.

Source of information  above
Comdial and their web site at

Dimension Electronics, Inc. and their web site at (a Comdial company)

Siemens Stromberg-Carlson

Dynalec Corp. and their web site at

Telephones Antique to modern by Kate E Dooner

Dynalec Corporation
    Founded in 1960 in Rochester, New York, Dynalec's first product was an entertainment center for the U.S. Navy. They begun  makeing sound powered handsets very closely resembling US Instruments equipment. The equipment and right to do so may have come from Stromberg Carlson when they moved to Virginia from Rochester, New York. The  facilities that Dynalec started in  was Stromberg Carlsons old facilities.  As Dynalec's product line grew they moved 35 miles east to larger  facilities in Sodus, New York. They started the headset line in the mid 1980's, about the time when Stromberg Carlson stopped making them. Rights to do so may have been bought at that time from Stromberg Carlson, or maybe Stromberg Carlsons patents ran out. The headset that Dynalec makes are an exact copy of Stromberg Carlson's old units. Dynalec is one of a very few companys that supply Sound powered phones to the Navy and private ship owners still today.

Sources of above information
Dynalec Corp. and their web site at

Hose-McCann Telephone Company Inc.
Hose-McCann Telephone Company Inc. was established in 1936, Charles G. Hose and Thomas J. McCann developed and patented the first sound powered telephone for marine use, creating a safe, reliable, rugged and independent external power communication system. One of two companies that supply Sound powered phones to the Navy and private ship owners still today.

Source of above
Hose-McCann Telephone Company Inc. and their web site at

United States Instrument Corporation (USI)
Still looking for information on this company. It no longer exists as a company today. Was bought out by Stromberg Carlson/General Dynamics. See Stromberg Carlson.

The Wheeler Insulated Wire Company Inc.
Working on this company. Were bought out in the late 1980's by Sound Powered Communications Corporation. See  Sound Powered Communications Corporation.

Western Electric Company
Formed in 1869 as a telephone company in Cleveland, Ohio. Started out making telegraph equipment and misc. telephone equipment. In 1877 they moved to Chicago, Ill. And became Western Electric Company (official name). They supplied Western Union with their phone equipment from 1878 1879. In 1881 they were bought out by The Bell Company. They became the sole suppliers of the Bell System. They eventually sold to their own employees who formed the company Graybar Electric Company that is still in business.

Source for above
Telephones Antique to modern by Kate E Dooner

Automatic Electric Company
Formed in 1901 as an offshoot of Strowger Automatic Electric Telephone Exchange Company in Chicago, Ill. The company made telephone equipment. During the war (W.W.II) they made phone equipment and sound powered equipment for the defense department. In 1955 they were bought out by General Telephone and Electronics (GTE).

Source for above
Telephones Antique to modern by Kate E Dooner

David Clark Company Inc.
Working on a history. This company has been in existence for over 40 years.

sources of above
David Clark Company Inc. and their web site at

Sound Powered Communications Corporation
Started in the late 1980's, SPCC bought out the financially troubled  Wheeler Insulated Wire Company Inc. and started producing elements in Wheelers old factory. Now in Trenton NJ. they still produce sound powered handsets.

sources of above
Sound Powered Communications Corp. and their web site at

Just Thought You Might Like This:

    An account of John P. Tazewell
    US Navy "Telephone Talker" who used the "Decktalker" headset during W.W.II

     My battle station was
     up on the flying bridge above the  navigation  bridge  where
     the  4  inch gun director was located. I was a sound-powered
     telephone talker, and my job was  to  read  the  appropriate
     sight  angle  and deflection numbers to the sight setters on
     the guns. (This offset the telescopes on  the  guns  so  the
     guns themselves would lead the target.) I'll never forget my
     first experience of the blast of the  forward  gun  when  it
     went off. There was a brilliant flash followed by a crashing
     explosion. My battle helmet flew down over  my  face  as  my
     telephone  headset  became  all askew. For a moment I didn't
     know if I was alive or dead! However I  soon  recovered  and
     got used to the experience.

    Full text of above is at

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