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Iowa History Daily: December 29 - Collins Radio Conquers the World

Iowa History Daily: On December 29, 1933, the Cedar Rapids Tribune reported on local radio manufacturer Collins Radio Company (fore-runner to Rockwell Collins) providing technological support for the expedition of Richard E. Byrd’s expedition to the Arctic.

Earlier in the year, enterprising Iowan Arthur A. Collins started a radio company to design and produce shortwave radio and AM broadcasting equipment. Quickly gaining customers in the scientific community, including the far-famed arctic explorer Commander Byrd, the products coming out of the Collins shop helped to amplify communications across the world.

During World War II, Collins won the contract to serve as the principal supplier of radio and navigation equipment used by the United States military. Building on the success of the war years, Collins continued to win government contracts as the Space Race defined the Cold War. The primary supplier for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space missions, Collins helped link astronauts to earth. 

In 1973, Rockwell International bought the Collins Radio Company to form Rockwell Collins, Inc. a company specifically dedicated to serve as the avionics division of Rockwell International. Acquired in 2018 by United Technologies Corporation, the company now operates as Collins Aerospace. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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