Clairtone

CLAIRTONE SOUND CORPORATION

STELLARTON, NS

CIRCA 1965-1971

CLAIRTONE SOUND CORPORATION WAS FOUNDED IN TORONTO IN 1958 BY PARTNERS PETER MUNK & DAVID GILMOUR.  THROUGH THE 1960’S, CLAIRTONE SOUNDS SYSTEMS WON CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR THEIR SOUND QUALITY AND DANISH MODERN DESIGN AESTHETIC.

AN ILL TIMED FORAY INTO TRANSISTORS BROUGHT HUGE FINANCIAL STRAIN TO THE PUBLICLY LISTED COMPANY. IN 1965, CLAIRTONE WAS LURED TO NOVA SCOTIA WITH HUGE FINANCIAL INCENTIVES FROM THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT.

IN 1966, CLAIRTONE HAD ESTABLISHED A PRODUCTION FACILITY IN STELLARTON AND EMPLOYED 1000 PEOPLE IN THE SMALL RURAL TOWN.  WITH THEIR BANK ACCOUNT REFRESHED BY THE PROVINCE OF NOVA SCOTIA,  CLAIRTONE MADE AN EARLY FORAY INTO THE COLOUR TELEVISION MARKET.

ALAS, THE GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES WERE NOT ENOUGH AND THE COLOUR TV MARKET WAS SLOW TO CATCH ON. CLAIRTONE FAILED UNDER THE FINANCIAL STRAIN A SHORT FOUR YEARS AFTER OPENING IN NOVA SCOTIA.

IN 1970, THE GOVERNMENT OF NOVA SCOTIA TOOK OVER THE OPERATION. IT WAS OPERATED FOR ANOTHER YEAR AT A HUGE COST TO THE TAXPAYERS OF NOVA SCOTIA AND IT CLOSED FOR GOOD IN 1971.

THE PROJECT G STEREO WAS OWNED BY CELEBRITIES SUCH AS HUGH HEFNER & FRANK SINATRA.  TODAY, THE LEGACY OF CLAIRTONE’S PROJECT G LIVES ON AS IT IS  A HIGHLY COLLECTIBLE ITEM AND HAS EVEN BEEN THE SUBJECT OF AN  INSTALLATION AT THE ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM.

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