L. Gauer Electronics
Leonhard Gauer, Glattalstrasse, 135, Zurich 52, Switzerland.
I have been in contact with Leonhard Gauer’s daughter Maya who provided the following information.
Leonhard Gauer got polio when he was 19. He had just completed his training as a radio electrician. Because of his disability, he could no longer work at a company. In the past, life with a disability was very difficult. Nobody wanted anything to do with the handicapped. Leonhard bought some of the equipment in Vienna from a company called Minerva and converted it to air radio in a workshop in the basement of the family house. Leonhard spent nights brooding over it until he found the solution to convert the radios. Since the family lived very close to Zurich airport and Leonhard had many contacts with the “amateur pilots”, it was not particularly difficult for him to sell his equipment worldwide. Leonhard never made a schematic. He just looked at the printed circuit board and knew what he had to change to receive VHF.
In the late 70s and early 80s Leonhard invented a device that could be used to guide people (groups) through noisy factory buildings or other areas with high noise levels. It was a simple device, but its success in Switzerland was huge. There had never been anything like this before. He sold the business and everything to a prospective buyer when he emigrated with his mother to Spain in 1995.
Maya said her father produced about 50 VHF radio’s per month.
Gauers VHF Model 6220 – 1961 – Based on a Minerva 611
Believed to be the first transistor radio to receive the VHF airband
Gauers VHF Model 6221 – 1962 – Based on a Minerva 621
Gauers VHF Model 6301 – 1965
Gauers VHF Model 6521 – 1965 – Based on a Minerva Perfect
Gauers VHF Informant II 94071 – 1968
Gauers Informant 44
Gauer VHF Carrera
Distributors and adverts
The UK distributor was Peter S. Clifford & Co. Ltd. Aircraft Sales, Oxford Airport, Kidlington. In 1962 the Gauers Portable 3-Band VHF radio was £35. In 1964 the Gauers 6220 MW/LW/VHF 9 Transistors was £31. There was also a Gauers 6301 VHF only 12 Transistors at £25.
The 6221 was also sold in the USA by Scot Air Inc. 6451 Main Street, Morton Grove, Illinois. Scot Air was a business started by Philip Coleman. Philip owned several much larger aviation related businesses, including a regional airline, Coleman Air Transport. In 1963 the cost was $99.95. This radio has a rotary dial on the top which the European version didn’t have. This extra dial works like a compass. If you moved the radio to get the best field strength, you set this button (compass scale) accordingly and could then return the radio to its original position. On the basis of the set scale, the optimal field strength was immediately found again.