Jacqueline Hochheiser, Corporate Communications
Mini-Circuits has come a long way in over 50 years and, believe it or not, a lot of that history has been captured in the story of the company’s logo. Our now thriving global enterprise began from humble origins in the kitchen of our late founder, Harvey Kaylie’s Brooklyn apartment. Mini-Circuits’ logo is designed after the mixer, SRA-1, that was Mini-Circuits’ first blockbuster product and a major catalyst for the company’s success.
Kaylie’s mission was a simple one, but would require a tremendous amount of determination, resourcefulness, and skill; design quality products, sell them at a low and competitive price, and provide fast delivery.
“I began noticing flaws in certain components being engineered in the industry,” said Kaylie while he was still employed at Airborne Instruments Lab (AIL), just before he quit to found Mini-Circuits. “’I can do better than that,’ I thought, ‘and for much less.’”
At the time, Kaylie was set on designing a double balanced mixer. It was a common component found in all sorts of modern communications and signal processing systems that seemed a logical place to start, despite the complex circuit topologies involved in designing such a product.
The challenges of the project were compounded by the fact that Kaylie didn’t have access to a lab with state-of-the-art equipment. He bought the parts for the mixer for $2 and planned to sell the finished product for $10.
When at last he succeeded in manufacturing the parts, Kaylie had a wedding photographer take photos of them and wrote ad copy himself. He began submitting advertisements in a trade publication that ran a section called “New Products.” Kaylie’s mixers sold for $9.95 each, while competition sold comparable products for nearly $40. Despite seeming too good to be true, people started buying them for their better price, and realized that the quality was comparable, if not better, than others on the market.
A couple years later, Mini-Circuits was beginning to solidify as a new business, and Kaylie’s method of selling low-cost alternatives with high-quality performance was proving profitable. His persistence and creativity paid off when he engineered a new frequency mixer he called the SRA-1. This component was in high demand for many radio and TV systems at the time.
He named the part in honor of his grandparents Sam and Ray Aranowitz (SRA), whom he admired throughout his life. As immigrants from Russia, Kaylie had always respected the courage, perseverance and grit it took for them to start a new life in a foreign country. When he was a boy, Kaylie worked for many years in his grandfather Sam’s furniture store where he learned the skills of entrepreneurship.
Before long, the SRA-1 mixer became an international success and the sales from this component alone were enough to propel Mini-Circuits to greater heights and gain world-wide recognition for cost-effective, quality products. Due to the SRA-1’s profound influence on Mini-Circuits’ growth, Kaylie saw fit to make it the company logo. The logo design has undergone several updates to modify its color and shape, but remains on as a symbol of the company’s history and its continued determination to succeed and bring innovative new products to market.