Crown International, or Crown Audio, is a manufacturer of audio electronics, and is a subsidiary of Harman International Industries. Today the company is known primarily for its power amplifiers, but has also manufactured microphones, a line of commercial audio products as well as digital audio networking products.
International Radio and Electronics Corporation (IREC) was established in 1947 by Clarence C. Moore, an Elkhart, Indiana minister. The company started out building rugged, open reel tape recorders for use by missionaries in far off parts of the world. A converted chicken coop served as the first manufacturing facility.
In the 1960s, the company's name was changed to "Crown International", as suggested by Moore's wife and co-founder, Ruby, as she felt the name "International Radio and Electronics Corporation" was too long, and because the emblem on many of their tape recorders was a crown. In 1975, the company's name was changed to Crown International, Inc., as voted by the stockholders.
A fire destroyed 60% of the Crown facility on Thanksgiving Day 1971 and rendered much of the remaining building severely damaged. US$1 million of uninsured assets were lost. The plant was rebuilt, and D-60 amplifier production was brought back on line within six weeks.
In March, 2000, Crown International was acquired by Harman International as their primary supplier of audio power amplifiers. The radio frequency broadcast division was subsequently repurchased by descendants of Clarence Moore who restructured the division in order to continue the manufacture of broadcast transmitters and RF amplifiers using Moore's original firm name: "International Radio & Electronics Corporation". Following Crown International's acquisition by Harman International, additional offices were set up in Northridge, Los Angeles, California, where AKG Acoustics, another Harman International company, maintains its North American headquarters.