Eight-Tracks, Private Jets, One Man, And the Rise of Car Audio

At the end of World War One, the car and the radio were rarely thought of together. However, as broadcasting took hold in the early 20’s, enterprising drivers began to install home radios in their cars, creating the first rudimentary car audio. Unfortunately, there was so much interference from the car’s electrical system that they could only be used with the engine off, and the situation remained there throughout the remainder of the 1920’s.

A former U.S. Naval radio operator with an eighth-grade education, William Lear, was running a radio shop in Quincy, Missouri in 1929. Always tinkering, he and employee Elmer Wavering began to experiment with a radio that could work while a vehicle was running. With temperature variations, road vibrations, and electrical interference to account for, it was no easy task. Once they had a working prototype, they set off for a radio convention in Chicago, where they … Read More

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