Al Kahn, K4FW (SK)

Al Kahn, K4FW, founder and former chairman of the board of Ten-Tec, was one of the two founders of the Electro-Voice corporation back in the 1920's. EV was named by none other than the great Knute Rockne ("The Gipper"). Al had set up a microphone and speaker system on the practice football fields of Notre Dame in 1927 for Rockne to use in directing the Irish practices, and Rockne called the set-up his "electric voice", hence the name. Al Kahn is originally from South Bend, In. and that is where Electro-Voice was founded, moving just over the border into southwest Michigan in 1946 to bigger production facilities.

Al was instrumental in the founding of Heathkit in the post-WW2 period. Heath was located some 25 miles away from the EV factories in Michigan and Al provided a traincar full of war surplus electronic parts that evolved into Heath's first kit project, an oscilloscope.

In 1965, Al came to Tennessee to open two Electro-Voice plants, one in Sevierville, TN (home of Ten-Tec) and one in Newport, TN, 20 miles away. To this day the Sevierville EV plant is located directly across the street from Ten-Tec. Al always had an interest in manufacturing amateur radio gear. He was a fanatic CW op since the 1920's, and in 1968 sold his interest in Electro-Voice, bought 15 acres of land across the street, put up our building and he and co-founder (still President) Jack Burchfield, K4JU (a former EV employee) started doing tool and die work and building QRP ham gear at that time.

Al was a member of the ARRL, the First-Class CW Operators Club, and the A-1 Operator Club and was elected to the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame in 2002.

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