Boomboxes and Ghettoblasters of the 1980's and 1970's


Clairtone Sound Corporation Limited was a manufacturer of high-quality sound electronics and accessories based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Founded in 1958 by Canadian electronics engineer and businessman Peter Munk with furniture designer David Gilmour, the company established an international reputation for stereo and cabinetry design in the 1960s.

It had failed little more than a decade later but in its heyday it made a notable contribution to the field of consumer electronics.

The company was traded publicly on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but even as it was winning awards for its innovative designs, Clairtone was facing insurmountable financial troubles. In 1963 it earned a profit of $300,000 on sales of $10 million, and profits decreased the following year as marketing costs rose higher than sales.

Meanwhile, the company obtained financial support from the government of Nova Scotia to open a electroncs manufacturing plant in Stellarton.

The company decided to switch production to televisions at this time and was fully operational in Stellarton by the summer of 1966. There were close to 1,000 employees at the time.

Clairtone's entry into the colour television market was ill-timed (the market would not take off for another five years; see History of Television). Sales in 1967 were exceedingly poor, with losses of more than $6 million, and the business began to spiral out of control. In October, 1967, Industrial Estates Limited, a provincial agency, took control of the company. Sales continued to decline and share prices plunged from more than $15 in 1967 to a few cents by 1970.

By March 1970, Clairtone was sold to the Province of Nova Scotia. It hemorrhaged money to the amount of $19 million that year, losses that were absorbed by the province.

It was finally closed in 1971. The assets were sold but the company was not officiallly dissolved until 1979.

Clairtone Boombox Models (2)

7978 Images Available (3)
7979 Images Available (1)