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Hammond Manufacturing was started by Oliver Hammond in 1917 to build various tools for the foundry industry. Always experimenting with things, the new technology of radio broadcasting fascinated the Hammonds, and as a result they began to build radios in 1919. Between 1919 and 1927 O.S. Hammond and Son, as the company was called back then, made tube radio sets, battery chargers, and other products related to broadcast radios. Their philosophy for quality and success was simple. "Build the product like you were going to use it yourself". Oliver passed away in 1925 and his four eldest sons took over the business. In 1927, the company name was changed to Hammond Manufacturing.
At this time, the Hammonds decided to stop making radios and focus instead on one of the components that went into radios - transformers - and they designed and built a line of transformers and filter chokes for broadcast transmitters and AC radio sets. This proved to be an opportune decision because the economic crash of 1929 caused the failure of many companies that were building radios at the time. In spite of the Great Depression, the broadcast industry as a whole continued to grow and the Company added other more specialized magnetic designs for audio, transmitter, and high voltage transformers.