History of Henry Radio

The first Henry Radio shop opened in Butler, MO in 1927. The business was started by Robert E. (Bob) Henry, W0ARA, who was selling equipment and parts for the new hobby of ham radio. His brothers James T. (Ted) Henry, W6UOU and Walter Henry worked with him during the early years and became enamored of the new hobby which allowed young men in a small mid-Western town to speak with people all over the world. This shop continued until 1985 and was closed when Bob died. Henry Radio in Butler, MO 1970

Ted moved to Los Angeles in 1939 and entered UCLA in 1941. In September 1941, Ted opened a small ham radio shop on Westwood Boulevard and continued to attend college. When the business grew, he decided to hire his first employee and advertised at UCLA. The job was filled by Meredith Manley, W6WNE. Ted and Meredith married in 1944. On December 7, 1941 the Pearl Harbor attack resulted in the suspension of the ham radio hobby. Henry Radio survived during the war by buying equipment from hams and reselling it to MARS stations around the world. At the request of Bill Halligan of Hallicrafters, Henry Radio opened a crystal manufacturing business to supply parts to Hallicrafters for their war production and had a busy crystal plant in Los Angeles and Butler. Henry Radio on Olympic 1967

After the war, the ham radio hobby grew quickly and Henry Radio thrived selling Collins, Hallicrafters and Hammarlund equipment. The Los Angeles store expanded to 11240 West Olympic Boulevard where they operated for nearly 35 years. The business grew as new manufacturers entered the market and Gonset and Drake and Swan became important products. About this time Mary E. Silva (nee Henry), W6VWL joined the business and became an important part of the management team.

During the 1960's Walt retired from the Navy and opened a branch store in Anaheim, CA. He successfully operated that business until his health declined and the store was closed about 1990. Walt passed away in 1991. At the same time Henry Radio expanded into consumer electronic sales. The stores marketed televisions and sound systems to high end enthusiasts.

Also, in 1962, Ted saw the opportunity to supply tube type power amplifiers for the ham radio marked. He opened a manufacturing business to build the original Henry 2K. The "plant" thrived and expanded into the new market for RF Industrial equipment which required high power RF for sputtering and scientific applications. With the onset of transistor amplifier designs in the 1970's, we developed our current line of solid state communications amplifiers. From 1962 until 2005 Henry Radio built approximately 40,000 assorted amplifiers and industrial power generators. A shrinking market and increasing operating costs forced us to the decision to close this facility in 2005.

In 1971 Ted S. Henry, W6YEY joined the business full time and took over the day to day management of the organization. During the 1970's the business saw the opportunity to import ham equipment from Japan and became the first United States Kenwood representative as well as marketing the Tempo line of equipment which was supplied by an assortment of manufacturers. In 1978 the business bought property at 2050 South Bundy Drive in Los Angeles and built their current facility. The store there opened in January, 1981.

During the late 1990's competition from many discount consumer electronics stores forced us to close our consumer electronics showroom and downsize to ham and commercial radio and industrial RF services. About that time, the company started the construction and management of a multi-site 470 MHz trunking radio communication system to service dispatch type business in Southern California.

Today, Henry Radio continues to sell the Bird line of RF test equipment, we are their oldest dealer and have sold millions of dollars of Bird equipment. We also import the fine line of Tohtsu coaxial relays from Japan. We still manage our trunked radio system and market an assortment of radio accessories and specialized RF parts and equipment. Ted retired from the business in 2005 but is happily retired as he nears his 94th birthday in 2013.