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Austin Insulators Inc.
suppliers of RF insulators and transformers since 1933





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History of Austin Insulators

   Our company, Austin Insulators Inc. is the successor to the A.O. Austin Insulator Company of Barberton Ohio. Through a succession of ownership changes starting in the late 1960's, Austin Insulators became the Insulator Division of Decca, Racal-Decca, and then Litton Marine. Finally, in August of 2000, through an employee/management buyout, we are once again proudly independent.


   Arthur O. Austin, founder of the insulator company 'A.O. Austin Inc.' graduated from Leland Stanford University in 1903. In that same year he was sent east by the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. as an insulator inspector. He became intensely interested in insulator design and manufacture and was given permission to carry out experimental work on his own; not only making his own moulds and tools, but experimenting with new designs and improved production efficiency.

   In 1906 he left PG&E to work for the Lima Insulator Company. In 1908, when the factory was destroyed by fire, he left and went to work for the Ohio Brass Company of Barberton, Ohio in the insulator division.

Arthur Austin (left) putting new ideas into practice.  Circa 1905
Arthur Austin (left foreground) putting new ideas in practice. Circa 1905

   The first of A.O. Austin's 225 different patents was awarded in January 1910 and assigned to his employer, Akron Hi-Potential Porcelain Co., which was later purchased by Ohio Brass Co. in August 1910. This was for the first cap and pin suspension insulator that used a ball and socket coupling. The suspension insulator with ball and socket coupling continued to be offered by O-B for many years.

   In 1933, Arthur Austin left Ohio Brass to start his own manufacturing business in Barberton, Ohio 'A.O. Austin Inc.'. It was A.O. Austin's insistence on top quality insulators that was responsible for much of Ohio Brass' success in the business and the reason why 'A.O. Austin Inc.' subsequently led the field in the manufacture of ultra-reliable radio insulators and lighting transformers. Many radio engineers will recognize the renowned "Austin Ring Transformer", which was respectfully named after its inventor, A.O. Austin.


   The Decca Navigator Company in the UK became interested in radio insulators in 1946 when they started to build chains of radio navigation stations around the world. In 1969, following the death of Arthur Austin, the Decca Record Company (known throughout the world as a producer of phonograph records and then cassette tapes) acquired the insulator business for its Navigation Division. The design and production facilities were then transferred from Barberton, Ohio to Toronto, Ontario in Canada.


   In more recent times, the company has re-engineered its product lines using modern materials and design techniques. Today, Austin Insulators offer the most up-to-date product line of insulators, transformers, bushings, and static control devices for RF antennas (MF to VLF) in the world. Customers can now choose from several different product line options to meet their budget and performance requirements.


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