St. Louis Music started out in the 1920’s as a music store and a publisher of sheet music. Over time, the business grew and they started selling their own line of imported instruments.
Gene Kornblum, impressed with the display crates, wondered if a crate could be used to house a guitar amplifier. That is how Crate Amplifiers came into being.
Crate CR-1, introduced in 1978, was housed in a bare wooden crate. It just made common sense to call this, “The Crate Amplifier.” The amp was marketed as a practice amplifier. It was only 10 solid-state watts, but came with a 12” speaker that gave it a rich full sound. As a plus, it was manufactured in the USA.
Crate Amplifiers to warrant enlarging their existing business and manufacturing capabilities. Within a few years, the wooden crate housing look was left behind in favor of traditional tolex covering. A whole range of Crate solid-state amplifiers was being offered.
tube-based models that became popular. St. Louis music eventually took on some other amplifier lines other than Crate, which included Vox and Ampeg.
wooden Crate model.
The original 10-watt solid-state amp featured Gain, Treble, Bass, Master Volume controls with 2 inputs all going into a 4 ohm, 12-inch speaker. The rear of the amp featured a lineout jack. Everything was housed in a simple pine cabinet.