August '18

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Page 49 of 104

rv-pro.com August 2018 • RV PRO • 45 Tuned in to Opportunity Winegard's roots in making TV antennas pre-date the founding of his company by several years. The story goes that when President Harry Truman was being inaugurated in early 1949, Winegard wanted to watch the festivities, which were being broadcast on a Chicago television station some 200 miles away. In what current Winegard President Grant Whipple calls "a really great inventor-in-a-garage story," John Win- egard designed an antenna to pick up that signal. "Soon, everybody started saying, 'I want one of those,'" Whipple says. "It really took off." Still, the company might have remained a one-hit wonder had Winegard not realized that a TV antenna that received one channel wasn't enough. Instead, he designed and patented an antenna that allowed people to watch multiple channels from one antenna. At left, page 44: Winegard President Grant Whipple, left, and General Manager of Winegard's Mobile Division, Todd Wibben, stand in front of the antenna manufacturing facility in Burlington, Iowa. Top: Antenna design performance is tested at Winegard's satellite antenna testing chamber. The approximately $2 million chamber has a rotating mount for the antenna to test a 360-degree pattern. Bottom: GM of Mobile Products Todd Wibben, left, and President Grant Whipple, pose for a photo in Winegard's satellite antenna testing chamber.

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