CANADA'S TWO TELEVISION NETWORKS -- THE C.B.C. AND COMMERCIAL CTV BEGAN COLOUR BROADCASTING IN OCTOBER?
CANADA'S TWO TELEVISION NETWORKS -- THE C.B.C. AND COMMERCIAL CTV BEGAN COLOUR BROADCASTING IN OCTOBER 1966, AND A LARGE PROPORTION OF THE DAY'S BROADCASTING IS IN COLOUR. PREVIOUS TO THIS, CANADIANS LIVING IN SOME CENTRES NEAR THE U.S.A. BORDER WERE ABLE TO GET PROGRAMMES IN COLOUR FROM THE U.S.A. THE ADVENT OF CANADIAN COLOUR TV PROGRAMMING HAS, OF COURSE, RESULTED IN A NUMBER OF CANADIAN FIRMS GOING INTO THE MANUFACTURE OF COLOUR TV SETS ON A LARGE SCALE. ONE OF THESE, CLAIRTONE, IS A UNIQUE ALL-CANADIAN COMPANY, NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF THEIR PRODUCTION METHODS BUT BECAUSE THEY ARE LOCATED IN A TOWN WHERE THE ECONOMY WAS BASED ON THE NOW DEFUNCT COAL-MINES
Clairtone Sound Corporation was founded in mid-1958 two young Canadians with the idea that a ready market existed for quality stereophonic sound equipment housed in distinctively styled cabinets. Peter Munk, electronic engineer, who had been designing and engineering custom made sound equipment and David Gilmour, a furniture merchandiser, exhibited their first high fidelity console in Canada in late 1958. And Clairtone's only interest was the stereo market until March 196 when they went into colour television, by passing black and white entirely.
Clairtone's move into colour without black and white involvement is a marketing and manufacturing plus -- they are colour specialists. They became stereo specialists without monaural experience.
When the company decided to expand it looked, of course, for a location where there was skilled labour available. At the time Clairtone was trying to locate for their expansion, the federal government announced its "designated area" program which provided tax relief for a period of three years and other incentives to companies locating new facilities in economically depressed areas.
Clairtone turned its attention to the Maritime Provinces of Canada. The tax programme, the proximity to the U.S. market and the excellent qualities of the local people (in spite of their lack of experience) ended in locating the new plant, which is on a 7-acre site, in Stellarton, Nova Scotia (Population: 5 1/2 thousand). Once a coal mining town, the majority of mines have been abandoned and this new industry has opened new vistas and incentives for the young people of Stellarton --to the economy of the town, the county, the province (Clairtone being the largest secondary manufacturing plant operating in Nova Scotia) and to the country.
In temporary quarters in April 1965 the company started training 250 employees and in May production was underway. In March 1966 the electronic division moved to completed permanent quarters. The only plant of its kind in North America, it is the first electronic equipment manufacturing facility to combine both the cabinet making and electronic manufacturing operations under one roof.
From the beginning no effort was spared to set up the most modern, most efficient factory possible to produce quality product in the most economical way. Clairtone build their own cabinets and the final assembly is also carried out in the Stellarton plant.
Production is taken care of by the speed on the line. Lines are set up to allow the operators to turn out maximum production conductive to continuous quality work. A supervisor's only function in this plant is to control the quality of the work.
Clairtone's electronic testing and colour convergence are completely handled by women. Research has shown that women tend to be more dexterous, get bored loss easily with repetitive jobs, and are more apt to maintain absolutely rigid inspection stewards over long periods.
Scheduled production for the latter half of this year is for over 10,000 sets. 1967 production is aimed to exceed 25,000 sets which, added to the regular stereo business, make Clairtone's future look very colourful indeed.