==>TEN-TEC CO-FOUNDER AL KAHN, K4FW, SK
Albert R. "Al" Kahn, K4FW, of Cassopolis, Michigan, died June 15. He was 98.
An ARRL member, Kahn--with Jack Burchfield, K4JU, co-founded Ten-Tec
following his retirement from Electro-Voice (E-V), which he'd also founded
and served as president. Kahn continued his regular CW schedules until just
a few days before he died.
"It's a sad day, but few of us will leave the sort of footprints that Al did
during his long and productive life," remarked ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ.
Ten-Tec, on its Web site, acknowledged Kahn's passing "with the deepest
regret." Kahn had remained a member of Ten-Tec's Board of Directors.
Kahn's daughter Carol Bieneman says that radio and sound communication
fascinated her father from childhood. "At age 12 he joined a Boy Scout troop
and was sent home with a radio to repair," she recounts. "This was the start
of his lifelong passion for radio."
Born in LaSalle, Illinois, Kahn moved as a child to South Bend, Indiana. He
became licensed there in 1921 as 9BBI and later held W8DUS in Michigan. As
Burchfield tells it, Kahn (with Lou Burroughs, a local machinist) in 1927
started a radio service shop in South Bend. Legendary Notre Dame football
coach Knute Rockne needed a public address system to amplify his voice
during practice sessions, and he came to Kahn for help.
Most microphones of the day were carbon-button types, but Kahn constructed a
superior velocity--or ribbon--microphone and put together a PA system that
Rockne called his "electric voice." In 1930, Kahn and Burroughs adopted the
name Electro-Voice for the business and began making velocity microphones,
which they also supplied to the military during World War II. During the
war, Kahn invented and patented a noise-canceling microphone and marketed it
successfully to the military. The design is still in use.
E-V added "high-fidelity" equipment and speakers to its product line, and,
in 1960, the company built two plants in Tennessee and shifted operations
there from the Midwest. Kahn was president of E-V until 1969 when it merged
with Gulton Industries. After departing E-V, Kahn and Burchfield founded
equipment manufacturer Ten-Tec, now in its 37th year of manufacturing HF
radio equipment for Amateur Radio, commercial, and military applications.
Kahn accumulated many honors over his more than eight decades as a radio
amateur and industry figure. He was inducted into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall
of Fame and was a member of the First-Class CW Operators Club (FOC), the Old
Old Timer's Club, the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA), and the
A-1 Operator Club. In 2002, the QCWA honored Kahn on his 80th anniversary as
an amateur licensee. He also received an Army/Navy "E" Award in 1945 for
supplying the War Department with thousands of microphones during World War
II. The Boy Scouts of America presented Kahn with its Silver Beaver Award
for staffing Amateur Radio stations at international scout jamborees.
A memorial service for Al Kahn is set for Saturday, July 16, at the Diamond
Cove Missionary Church, 22541 Diamond Cove Road, Cassopolis, Michigan.
Visitation will be from 2 PM until 4 PM at the church, followed immediately
by the memorial service at 4 PM.
Memorial contributions are invited to Cass County Hospice, 310 East Sherwood
St, Decatur, MI 49045 or to the Michiana Amateur Radio Club, c/o Noel Kindt,
W9EFL, 90888 Bluff Dr, Marcellus, MI 49067.--Some information from the N9VV
Ten-Tec History Web page
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