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Shure: A Long Journey That Continues To Pick Up Steam

This article was originally written and published on ProSoundWeb in the year 2000.

By Keith Clark January 27, 2016

Mr. Sydney N. Shure

Seventy-five years ago, a confident young entrepreneur in Chicago embarked on his career, combining an interest in sound with his work.

On April 25, 1925, Sidney N. Shure rented a one-room office at 19 South Wells Street for five dollars per month and founded the Shure Radio Company, a business that sold kits for building radios at a time when factory-made radios were not yet available.

As a child, S. N. Shure was fascinated by radio. In 1913, when he was eleven years old, he received his license to operate an amateur radio station.

Even at this young age, Mr. Shure’s instincts would serve him well. Listening to the radio that he built aroused his interest in many subjects.

By 1928, the company’s sales were climbing. At this time, S. N. Shure’s brother, Samuel, was invited to join the new business, and the company name was changed to Shure Brothers Company. Despite rapid growth, unfortunately, Shure Brothers had some tough times in store.

In 1929, the stock market crashed, and the Great Depression gripped the U.S. and the world.

In addition, factory-built radios entered the marketplace, making it unnecessary for consumers to buy parts kits to build their own radios. These hard times forced S. N. Shure to lay off most of his employees.

Shure logos through the years. (click to enlarge)

With the steep decline in business, Samuel Shure decided to pursue a different career. (Though the “brother” left the firm in 1930, the company retained “Brothers” in its name until 1999, when it became Shure Incorporated.)

While selling radio parts kits, S. N. Shure had published a mail-order catalog which advertised other products as well.

Among them was a microphone produced by a small manufacturer, for which Shure Brothers was the exclusive distributor.

After the depression, S. N. Shure decided to go into the microphone business.

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About Keith

Keith Clark
Keith Clark

Editor In Chief, ProSoundWeb & Live Sound International
Keith has covered professional audio and systems contracting for more than 25 years, authoring hundreds of articles in addition to hands-on work in every facet of publishing. He fostered the content of ProSoundWeb (PSW) from its inception, helping build pro audio’s largest portal website, and has also served for several years as editor in chief of Live Sound International (LSI).


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