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"We Won't Let You Fail"

- The Heath Company motto


Heath was a electronics company founded in 1947. They sold electronic kits (Heath kits) through all those neato popular science and electronics magazines your dad subscribed to.


Heath sold about 150 different types of kits. The kit projects ranged from a simple radio to an entire television. I kept waiting for the Heath Apollo command module kit myself.


Heath's gimmick was you didn't have to be an electronics genius to build the end product. As long as you had a soldering iron and some manual dexterity (neither of which I've ever had), you could follow the step-by-step instructions and build your kit. It was paint-by-numbers for geeks in short-sleeved dress shirts and Bermuda shorts.


Heath's demise ended up being the accelerating pace of technological change in the '70s. By the time it researched, designed, and released a product, there was a more modern, cheaper Japanese product on the shelf with no assembly required. The "gosh golly" effect was lost. Heath was eventually bought in 1979 by Zenith. Zenith raided Heath's know-how to produce its own line of crappy home computers and sold off the rest.


-- Karl Mamer





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