ADC Telecommunications

ADC Telecommunications

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ADC Telecommunications

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ADC Telecommunications () is a communications company located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, a southwest suburb of Minneapolis.


In 1935, Ralph Allison founded the Audio Development Company in the basement of his south Minneapolis home, inventing ADC's very first product, the audiometer, an electronic device designed to test hearing. The company was later renamed to ADC Telecommunications, Inc.

Two years later, fellow engineer Walt Lehnert joined Allison, and together they diversified the company's product line to include amplifiers and transformers for the broadcast industry. By 1942, the company had designed a sophisticated audio system for the University of Minnesota, and the resulting jacks, plugs, patch cords and jackfields became the cornerstones for ADC's later entry into telecommunications.

In 1949, ADC sold its audiometer product line and Ralph Allison left the company to form a new business in California. ADC diversified and focused its efforts in the area of transformers and filters for power lines, military electronics, telephone jacks and plugs. In 1961, ADC merged with Magnetic Controls Company, a manufacturer of power supplies and magnetic amplifiers with strong ties to the U.S. space program. The resulting company, ADC Magnetic Controls, had a decade of mixed success. Although transformer sales boomed during the 1960s, other new product initiatives failed to materialize. Perhaps the most significant product innovation during this period was the bantam...
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