The History of Fairchild

The Fairchild company, FAIRCHILD Recording Equipment Company, was founded by Sherman Fairchild in 1931 in Whitestone 57 New York. His father was a Republican congressman and a co-founder of IBM and IBM's first CEO. When his father died in 1924, Sherman Fairchild was the only child inheriting his parents' fortune and the million-dollar estate. He also inherited his father's IBM shares and was IBM's largest single shareholder until his death in 1971. Sherman Fairchild was a businessman, investor, and inventor. During his lifetime he founded over 70 companies including Fairchild Aircraft, Fairchild Industries, Fairchild Camera and Instrument, and Fairchild Aviation Corporation, which made significant contributions to aviation. His company Fairchild Semiconductor played a not inconsiderable role in the development of the Silicon Valley location. Fairchild received over 30 patents for his inventions and developments, mostly silicon semiconductors. An avid photographer, Mr. Fairchild also invented the first synchronized camera shutter and new technologies for aerial cameras which were later used during the Apollo missions.

In the 1930s, the technology for creating and storing audio recordings began to take shape. Since Fairchild was already passionate about recording, he founded the company in 1931 in order to help shape and develop the opportunities that were available at the time. Over the next several years, Fairchild Recording Equipment Corporation began designing and manufacturing products, including amplifiers, preamps, turntables, and controls.

One of the most notable products in the company's history was the Fairchild 660 compressor and the later two-channel version, the 670, both of which are the rarest "holy grail" finds today. The original design goes back to Rein Narma. The design was then licensed by Fairchild, and Sherman hired him on as Chief Engineer of the company. The first manager became Ray F. Crews. Already at THE AUDIO FAIR in October 1950 Fairchild Audio amplifiers, motors for turntables, moving coil cartridges, tonearms, turntables and professional devices for recording records were exhibited. From 1953, tape recorders and devices for recording records were also manufactured for the amateur sector. In the first few years, however, almost all devices were primarily made for professional use, such as broadcasting and recording studios. However, Fairchild is increasingly expanding production for the consumer sector and incorporated the know-how gained from the developments into production.

Fairchild's experience in the professional market resulted in the highest quality hifi components for home use. For example, the Fairchild 255 mono tube power amp, manufactured from 1955 to 1959, often considered the ideal power amplifier for high-quality reproduction of music and all other types of program material. The 255 power amplifier delivers the full power of 25W sine across the entire audio frequency spectrum. At the same time there was a more powerful power amp with 50W sine, the model Fairchild 260. Both power amps have the canceling circuit with unusually low distortion at full and low output power. The design of the power amplifiers is simple, robust and fulfills the actual purpose of providing optimal high-quality power amplifiers for home hifi without gimmicks.

Over the years, Fairchild created numerous high-quality components, the complete list of which is still elusive today. Since the consumer area only played a secondary role at Fairchild, the company's turntables and amplifiers are a real rarity today, and highly prized by collectors.