Altec Lansing's early technological developments in acoustical and electronic components have earned a place of prominence in sound reproduction few companies can match. The predominance of Altec's name over the years in sports stadiums, arenas, theatres, airports, auditoriums, churches, amusement parks and more recently on desktops within homes and at the workplace attest to this fact.
Altec Lansing speaker systems have formed the backbone of the sound systems in such world renowned places as The United Nations Building, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Disneyland and Disneyworld, New York's Lincoln Philharmonic Center and the Schubert Theatre, MGM's Grand Hotel, The Singapore National Stadium, and The Sydney Opera House, to name a few.
Today Altec Lansing speakers appear in myriad environments, addressing the wide array of needs for quality audio among diverse professional business people, musicians, families, students, music connoisseurs and gaming aficionados within their respective milieus.
It all started in the roaring twenties; times were good, people were busy at work and at play. Invention and innovation impacted many industries and America saw many firsts: electricity, the telephone, and of course advances in film. Entertainment in the early twenties included silent motion pictures. The absence of sound created a void that needed to be filled. This same void became an opportunity for the Founding Fathers of Altec whose creativity and scientific discipline lead to the first ever talking picture.
1927: Marks the introduction of sound in movie theatres with the first "talkie" picture, The Jazz Singer. This landmark event was made possible by engineers at Western Electric who would later form The Altec Lansing Company. This milestone in movie theatre entertainment was just one of the many firsts in sound that were made possible by Altec Lansing engineers throughout its rich history.
1928: Western Electric formed Electric Research Products, Inc. (ERPI), to manufacture, install and service the talking picture systems in studios and theaters. These leading products ushered in an era of sound that offered the necessary compliment to early cinematic achievements completing the sensory experience of sight and sound. In the 1930's ERPI was spun off into a separate company renamed All Technical Products Company..
The All Technical Products Company continued to be successful through the end of the 30's and by 1941, the company decided to solidify its business and extend its manufacturing capabilities. The company bought Lansing Manufacturing Company headed by James B. Lansing and formed Altec Lansing Corporation on May 1, 1941. The first Altec power amplifier was born that same year. The forties continued to usher in product innovations that pleased audiences. In 1942 Altec developed and produced its first permanent magnet in a 15" Duplex speaker, a version of which remains the worldwide recording standard even today.
1941: The first Altec power amplifier, Model 142B was created. The Altec Corporation bought Lansing Manufacturing Company headed by James B. Lansing and formed Altec Lansing Corporation on May 1, 1941.
1942: Altec developed and produced its first permanent magnet in a 15" Duplex speaker, model #604, a version of which is today the recording standard throughout the world.
1943: The first duplex® 12" loudspeaker, Model 601 was created. Altec Lansing occupied offices in the Taft building in Hollywood and then established offices at Hollywood and Vine in 1944.
1942-1945: 97% of Altec man hours spent on electronic military products, including the production of Anti-Submarine Detection equipment; Fire Control Radar as sub contractor to General Electric; and prime contractor for practically all of the MAD Airborne Detection equipment for the Navy.
1945: Entered the home market with the term "high fidelity" to be coined later (about 1948). Products included Duplex loudspeakers,, Power Amplifiers (to drive other manufacturer's tuners), and Television. (The latter was of too high quality for ready sales and was privately financed by Altec management into a new company which later became Conrac.)
1947: First major contribution to the Theatre fidelity in sound in 20 years - Altec announced "Voice of the Theatre" speaker systems. Peerless Electrical Products Company was acquired, manufacturing transformers and related devices.
1948: First high-fidelity sound equipment specifically designed for home was introduced. First Altec High Fidelity Tuner (AM/FM) model #101. The 20-20 line of Peerless transformers were introduced.
The post war years ushered in good times once again in America. In addition to the movie theatre entertainment that so many Americans enjoyed, they now began to purchase the television and experience a new genre of home entertainment. Altec responded through innovations in the 50's that addressed the unique needs in the home environment and officially entered the home market.
1950: Moved to new facility in Beverly Hills; won Electric Manufacturing Certificate Award for condenser microphones.
1951: Entered acoustical instrumentation market with 21BR condenser microphone.
1952: First Altec Lansing broadcast console, model 250, became broadcast standard and was used exclusively by Armed Forces broadcasting; Peerless pioneered hermetically sealed power transformers.
1953: After competitive tests, Altec's "Voice of the Theatre" became the only motion picture speaker systems approved by the Research Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The "Voice of the Theatre" speaker systems soon became the worldwide standard.
1953: First stereophonic theatre system used Altec for Warner Bros. "House of Wax", Fox's "The Robe" and " This is Cinerama". Altec created the first 4-channel amplifier for the motion picture industry, showing "3-D" pictures.
1955: First "Voice of the Theater" home loudspeaker, model 820A; Peerless produced communications transformers for Cape Canaveral.
1958: First complete Altec stereophonic home music system. All Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and New York (administration) combined in a single, owned facility in Anaheim (30 miles South of LA); 165,000 square feet on 14.5 acres.
In the 60's America entered the space age bringing new ranges of possibilities. Altec continued its tradition of innovation, expanding the company's product offerings in order to address the growing needs of the audio marketplace. Among many other achievements was an industry first in the recording category.
1961: Introduced first transistorized compressor amplifier, also new line of telephone products; Altec Lansing teleconferencing system introduced at Disneyland.
1967: A first for the industry - Altec's modular, solid-state broadcast and recording console, model #9200A.
1968: Altec starts its Musical Sound product line for the professional musician, including the new style microphone #650A.
The demand from the music and recording community continued and Altec consistently added to the strength of its core amplifier business, further extending the company's recording equipment line and gaining recognition in design, engineering and performance.
1972: Introduced first, low priced, 100W Control Console for musicians, model #1214A.
1973: Billboard magazine reported that more Altec monitor loudspeakers used in recording studios than all other brands combined.
1976: Industry's first automatic microphone mixing introduced; Model 19 monitor loudspeaker received Design and Engineering Excellence Award from EIA.
Word spread about the quality and performance of Altec and Altec sound systems were in demand as part of new public facilities throughout the world.
1982: Built almost 4,000 channels of power amplification for Disney's Epcot Center.
1984: XXIII Olympic winter games in Sarajevo used Altec Lansing reinforcements products exclusively. Moved all operations to Oklahoma.
1986: Altec Lansing Consumer Products established in Milford, Pennsylvania to design, engineer and introduce completely new line of home and car high fidelity loudspeakers.
The 1990's explosion in Personal Computing and technology created yet another new market and Altec engineers met the challenge once again, designing world class speakers that corresponded to the rapidly evolving needs of computer users. History repeats itself as Altec Lansing serves as the leader to usher in the sound and thereby complete the sensory experience of sight and sound in this new market.
1990: Introduced the first PC audio system, ultimately resulting in success as the clear leader in this category to the present.
1992: Selected by IBM as developer program partner to design multimedia computer speaker systems. Altec selected "Best New Manufacturer" Award at COMDEX/Spring from Byte magazine.
1995: Altec Lansing computer speakers selected as bundle solution for multimedia computers by Dell Computers; company develops unique computer audio subsystems with internal amplification and speakers for Hewlett-Packard.
Company creates the world's first computer speaker surround sound system with built-in Dolby Pro-Logic circuitry, the ACS500.
The AMC2000, computer speakers win Multimedia World "Reader's Choice" award for third straight year; selected as "One of the Top 20 Products of the Year" by the editors of Computer Shopper.
First home audio product based on wireless technology developed by the Consumer Products Division.
Altec expands its legendary "Voice of the Theater" home speaker line and creates its first personal home theater speaker system, announcing a new line of autosound speakers, "The Medallion Series."
Total number of design and engineering awards won since 1986 now totals 41; Company name changes to Altec Lansing Technologies, Inc.
1996: Altec Lansing opens manufacturing facility in Dongguan, China.
Altec Lansing is awarded SA8000 International Quality Certification.
Altec Lansing has expanded into Latin America.
Altec Lansing has been number one in PC audio market share for over a decade.