TASCO’s acoustical roots were started in 1952 when Tom and his brother began making hearing aid components for Zenith and Motorola. In 1961 Tom began a side project with a gentleman named David Flexer. Considered crazy and impossible by many, their idea was to put movies and music on airplanes to make the sometimes long flights seem shorter and more enjoyable. After three years of wrangling and R&D work, American Airlines bellied up with the first order. Needless to say, the idea spread quickly and my father (Tom) and his new partner started Avid Corporation in 1966.
By 1970, Avid supplied every major airline in the world and went on to make some of the highest rated stereo headphones and speakers in the world (beating Acoustic Research -“AR” their first year out). They also made educational language laboratories, the headsets that accompanied them, and portable travel labs for the less fortunate school districts. Tom had an unfortunate falling out with his partner in 1973 and decided to design products that kept sound out rather then bring it in. OSHA was beginning to grow sharper teeth back then so hearing protection products seemed to be natural progression considering Tom’s headset design and acoustics background. One of Tom’s major goals was to introduce comfort to hearing protection.
TASCO grew steadily through the late ’70’s and ’80’s. One means of rapid volume growth was to O.E.M. (private label) hearing protection devices for the big players that needed a better quality line. Tom chose that route, he did have eight children after all.
When I (Tom’s eldest son) joined TASCO in 1982 60% of our volume was from O.E.M. customers. Today that number has been greatly reduced; primarily because with Tom’s hard won foundation in place, it allowed us to begin tooling more rapidly and aggressively than ever as well as penetrate the head, face, forestry and retail markets. As of this writing, we have only two products left in the line that pre-date 1996. Unfortunately we also lost our most important asset, Thomas himself, in 1999 to cancer.
According to what most assuredly would have been his wishes, TASCO has doubled it’s size again, since that unfortunate day, and is entering the coming years with many innovative and outstanding new products. A much stronger market presence and a burning desire to be the thriving David among all of today’s Goliath’s is our primary objective.
Thank you for your time,
Sean T. Scanlon