Business & Merchant
- Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:22
Mononahela Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to name RadioEar as its August Business of the Month.
RadioEar was founded as a hearing aid manufacturer in 1924 in Pittsburgh by E. A. Meyers. RadioEar developed a reputation as one of the highest quality hearing aids available and was quite successful.
In 1955, a modern facility and lab was built on Valleybrook Road, and at the peak of production, RadioEar employed well over 100 people. In the 1970s the hearing aid manufacturing industry had rapidly become monopolized by a handful of large operations, making it difficult for a small independent manufacturer like RadioEar to compete. However a device developed by RadioEar in 1948, the bone conduction transducer, had become a significant tool for diagnosing hearing ailments, and soon became RadioEar's most important product.
By 1982, after many years of shrinking hearing aid sales, the company was taken over by three long-time employees; Harold Holsopple, Andrew Kriceri, and Walter Piroth. They soon eliminated the manufacturing and sale of hearing aids and became the sole manufacturer of the bone conduction transducer. RadioEar was reorganized as a much smaller company and moved its production facility to its current location in New Eagle. Today this device is known as the B71 bone transducer. It is the definitive industry standard of bone conduction hearing measurement; it is a critical diagnostic tool and it has no equal.
After more than 30 years this device is still completely fabricated and hand-assembled here in New Eagle and is shipped to audiometer manufacturers all over the world. Harold, Andy, and Walt have since retired and the company is now a division of the Diagnostic Group of Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is in turn part of William Demant Holdings Group, based in Denmark.