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Shure Timeline: Milestones From 1925 To 2000

A look at the wealth of achievements of one of the most successful and longest enduring in professional audio.

By Keith Clark January 6, 2008

A Shure radio parts catalog from the 1920s.

1925: Shure Radio Company is founded on April 25 by Sidney N. Shure as a one-man company selling radio parts kits before factory-built radio sets were marketed. Office is located at 19 South Wells Street in downtown Chicago.

1926: A direct mail catalog is published, one of only six radio parts catalogs in the U.S.

1928: Shure grows to more than 75 employees. Sidney N. Shure’s brother, Samuel J. Shure, joins the company. Shure Radio Company becomes Shure Brothers Company, moving to more spacious quarters at 335 West Madison Street, Chicago.

1929: The Great Depression grips the world. Market for radio parts kits declines when factory-built radio sets become available. Staff is reduced to a few people. Shure becomes exclusive distributor for a small microphone manufacturer.

1930: Samuel J. Shure leaves to pursue a career in heating and ventilation engineering, his college major, joining a prominent company in St. Louis, Missouri.

1931: Shure begins development of its own microphones under the direction of a young engineer named Ralph Glover.

An anechoic chamber at Shure, invaluable to the company’s R & D capabilities.

1932: Shure becomes one of only four U. S. microphone manufacturers with the introduction of the Model 33N two-button carbon microphone. It is the first lightweight, high-performance product in a market dominated by large, costly devices.

1933: Model 40D is the company’s first condenser microphone.

1935: Model 70 is Shure’s first crystal microphone.

1936: First patent is received for a stylish and practical suspension support system for microphones.

Producing a diverse assortment of mics.

1939: Model 55 Unidyne microphone is the first single-element unidirectional microphone. Its performance qualities and distinctive styling ultimately make it “the most recognized microphone in the world.” Notably, the single-element design makes microphones smaller, less expensive, and, therefore, more accessible to all.

1941: Shure secures contracts to supply microphones for U.S. armed forces in World War II.

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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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