In the late twenties, the success of “The Jazz Singer” established sound as the new standard for the motion picture theatre.  Western Electric, the manufacturing arm of AT&T, was destined to rule that business for many years.  The vast resources of Bell Laboratories had been brought to bear on problems of recording, reproducing, and allied arts, and as a result they were able to mount the required technology for manufacturing in fairly short order.  Electrical Research Products Incorporated (ERPI) was set up as a distribution company by Western Electric as a means of servicing the motion picture industry.

Bill Martin came out to join his brother in 1930, and another brother, George, came at a later date.  In 1930 there were no more than 40 employees at the Lansing Manufacturing Company.  Some of the early products included armature loudspeakers, which are known today only as museum curiosities.  Other loudspeaker products made use of traditional field coils as well as early permanent magnets.

This was truly a cottage industry.  The family would make cones and wind coils at home in the evening, and the parts would be taken in to be assembled the next day.  The company experienced hard times during these years of the depression.  Most of Lansing’s customers were radio set manufacturers, many of them located in the Midwest.  The company’s products were largely eight and six-inch loudspeakers.  What few larger models were made were used only in luxury console radios.  The company established its permanent headquarters at 6900 McKinley Avenue in South Los Angeles.

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