Many a pirate and legitimate broadcaster alike got their start building do-it-yourself electronics kits made by Heathkit. Simple low-powered transmitters and ham radios were particularly popular.
Alas, the company is no more.
The remnants of the company that once employed up to 1,800 people in St. Joseph Township, Mich., is now on the auction block, reports the Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph.
The company, down to half a dozen employees at the end, defaulted on its lease and filed for bankruptcy, owner Don Desrochers told the paper.
The company was last known as Heathkit Educational Systems. The business “was primarily dependant on federal and state funding for schools. Spending in education continued to drop down, and it was economically unfeasible to continue operating,” Desrochers told the Herald-Palladium.
Founded in 1926 as an aircraft company, Heathkit shifted its focus to electronics after World War II when it bought surplus electronic parts to build kits. Heathkit left the kit business in 1992, focusing on educational materials, then announced it was getting back into the kit business in 2011. However it was losing the educational business faster than it could grow the electronics business, which was not sustainable, according to Desrochers.