Powel Crosley, Jr. - the Steve Jobs of the 20th Century.
- Powel Crosley; An American Inventor
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Often it stems from the gap between desire and the weight of one's pocketbook. With a grimacing pain on our face, we might remember the outlandish cost of our first computer or flat screen television as compared to the affordability of these items today. In such scenarios, a visionary sought to take the toys off of Millionaire's Row and onto Main Street.
Never has this been truer than the case of Powel Crosley.
The Steve Jobs of his era, it was 1920 when Powel Crosley founded the pioneering radio broadcasting company that would change the world. But long before he went on to create the behemoth 700 WLW station, long before he introduced the universe to revolutionary television and refrigeration appliances, or spearheaded the first television NBC affiliate or created the car radio, still long before he altered the future of Major League Baseball and mass media there was the issue of $130. Having promised to purchase a radio receiver for his son's birthday, Crosley, shocked at the appalling $130 asking price (in 1920, nonetheless) sought to make his own. Realizing a functioning set could be crafted for only $35, the market potential was not lost on Crosley. Manic detail and precision at an affordable tag was Powel Crosley's insanely simplistic vision; and it was this vision that exalted him as a legendary forefather of media as it breathes today.
These days the Crosley name is synonymous with classic inspiration. The company has continued its futuristic drive with a nod to the past. With pristinely detailed replicas and reintroductions of vintage radios and turntables, married with the technology of today, the Crosley Collection surges forth. Their collection includes mobile suitcase - styled record players and turntables, record changers, multi- functional audio cassette/compact disc players, jukeboxes, music boxes, telephones, and just about anything else that might come to mind. All created, of course, in the ageless styling that only a Crosley product can bring.
As for Steve Jobs, one can only imagine the conversation between the Apple guru and Powel Crosley, the man who made mass media possible. To be a fly on the wall at a MENSA meeting would seem tediously sophomoric by comparison.
Article originally appeared on Executive Search, Board Consulting | Allen Associates (http://www.allensearch.com/).