The other factor that contributed to the decline of the US radio companies;
was the fact that incentive licensing came in 1968, taking a lot of hams off
the air, and thus not buying new radios.
At this time, the rise of the Japanese imports, and hybrid rigs, started
making inroads on the ham market. Japanese radio companies were supported
by the large number of hams in Japan buying rigs, and thus easily could dump
their radios into the import markets. I think British ham radio makers also
went out about the time of the Hammerlund, Hallicrafters, National, WRL and
other US firms.
Swan had been a maker of tube radios, and its founder saw transistors were
the future, and got a designer and started Atlas after selling Swan.
The decline of the high school radio clubs caused by incentive licensing,
also caused the decline of Novice licenses and the demand for entry level
rigs like the Heath kits, and simple tube radios that WRL offered, Walter
Ashe, AMECO, and a number of others.
There had been a boom in ham licensees of secondary school age in the 50's
when the Novice license came in. As we aged, and got busy in post secondary
education, colleges, military service, etc., we put ham radio pretty much on
the shelf for years.
We weren't buying ham gear, and the market suffered.
The move from discrete components now to large scale integration, may also
impact the small volume manufacture of equipment like ham radios. Even the
European directive banning lead from electronics may have unintended
consequences. (Buy your supply of lead solder now while you can).
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