Q:

Why did Heathkit go out of business?

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Quick Answer

Heathkit went out of business in 2008 due to the economy, according to the last owner Don Desroachers. Most of the company's business at the time was from schools, thus budget cuts to education meant less business for the company.

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Electronics company Adafruit announced in 2011 that it acquired Heathkit and was interested in bringing it back, but a 2015 blog posted by the company noted that nothing came of the project. Interested collectors can still find Heathkit and other antique electronic products on eBay.

Heathkit sold electronic kits from 1947 until 1992. Generations of children and adults built products such as ham radios from the kits. The company's hook was that it was much cheaper to buy and build a kit then to buy the product outright. After 1992, the company concentrated on educational kits for schools, until 2008 when it officially went out of business.

The company was founded by Edward Bayard Heath in 1912 and was originally an aircraft company. After Heath's death, the company went bankrupt and Howard Anthony took over the company. After World War II, the company moved into the electronic kit business with the first kit, the O1 oscilloscope, which was a big success.

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