Representatives from Sonitrol franchises around the country are gathering now in Forth Worth to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the brand at the annual Sonitrol convention. Each year, we join together to recognize successes and share best practices, but this week’s convention is particularly special because of the 50 year anniversary. In honor of this big milestone, we wanted to take the time to share the Sonitrol story.
Sonitrol began 50 years ago in the town of Anderson, Indiana, by a man named Robert Baxter. Robert attended Purdue University, where he studied science and electronics and became fascinated with high frequency sound. It wasn’t much of a surprise when he approached his family one day with an innovative idea for the exterminating business (the Baxter family owned a termite exterminating company). Robert’s idea was to use an electronic listening device in the walls of buildings to actually hear the termites! Robert went on to create other inventions using sound and audio and in 1960 developed a new name for his company, Sonitrol. The name Sonitrol was derived from the words “sound control”.
In 1963, Robert met Al Cronk, a former police officer who owned a Silent Century security franchise. Robert was hired by Al to maintain equipment and to develop new improvements. Robert’s innovations in audio detection proved so successful for the security company, that all Silent Century was eventually replaced with new “Sonitrol” equipment. In June of 1964 the first Sonitrol franchise was opened in Anderson, Indiana.
Now there are independent Sonitrol franchises across the country. Sonitrol changed the alarm industry as the first verification company. 50 years later, verification is slowly catching on with traditional alarm companies, but they will never be able to match the legacy of service, technology and criminal captures that Sonitrol has built.