Radio company

The Gates Radio Company, the 1920s | Story

The Gates Radio Co., now GatesAir, turns 100 this winter. Founded in 1922 by Henry, Parker and Cora Gates, the company has grown from a young man pursuing a hobby to becoming the world’s leading manufacturer of radio and television broadcasting equipment.

Henry and Cora Gates moved to Quincy in 1918 with their only son, 11-year-old Parker, and lived in a rented bungalow at 2315 Broadway. In the attic of this house, Parker began to build crystal radio sets that could be ordered by mail. Henry, a food product specialist, was hired by United Cereal Mills to be plant superintendent of the Egg-O-See Cereal Company. When the Egg-O-See factory closed, the family moved to Cereal, Pennsylvania, where Henry was hired to manage Jersey Cereal Mills.

Janet Gates Conover and her husband, Joe, are Life Members of the Quincy and Adams County Historical Society. This article is based on Gates Radio Company research and records, interviews with her father, Parker Gates, and family oral history and letters.

The Quincy and Adams County Historical Society preserves Governor John Wood’s mansion, the history museum on the plaza, the 1835 log cabin, livery, Lincoln Gallery exhibits and an artifact collection and documents that tell the story of who we are. This award-winning column is written by members of the Society. For more information, visit or email [email protected].