Dow-Key Microwave

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Dow-Key Microwave Corporation
Industry RF and Microwave switch
Founded 1942 or 1943
Founder Paul Dow
Headquarters Ventura, California, USA
Parent Dover Corporation

Dow-Key Microwave Corporation is the oldest continuously operational RF and Microwave switch manufacturer in the United States and today is the world's largest manufacturer of RF electro-mechanical switches and Microwave Sub-Systems. The company is part of the Microwave Products Group and Dover Electronics, a subsidiary of Dover Corporation and it is located in Ventura, California, USA.


1942 or 1943 Paul Dow starts making speed keys in the basement of his house in Winnipeg at 578 Goulding Street, Canada. The first models were called "Junior".

1945 - 1951 - Starts manufacturing the first commercial telegraphic speed key called "Bent" Dow, that later was evolved into a Dow-Key Bug.

September 6, 1949 Patent 2,481,091 issued for Dow Universal (rotary model).

1956 Paul Dow retired. Dow-Key operated by his son, Gordon Dow, which concentrates on development of other switching equipment in area automatic switching.

December 1957 Dow-Key operation moved to Thief River Falls, Minnesota. Speed keys no longer produced.

December 1960 product evolves into a new Dow "KEY-municator" - transistorized telegraphic key sold as part of amateur radio kits.

1966 Dow-Key operation moved to Broomfield, Colorado.

In 1968 Dow-Key was purchased by Kilovac Corporation, a high voltage relay manufacturer, and relocated to Kilovac's Headquarters in Carpinteria, California. The company quickly became an industry leader in the manufacture of low frequency and high frequency (HF, UHF and VHF). microwave switching products.

In 1985, Dow-Key was purchased from Kilovac by a private investor who moved the company to its current location (Ventura, California) in 1988 and incorporated under the name Dow-Key Microwave. Dow-Key improves its quality leading to High Reliability space qualified products in 1989. In 1993, it acquired the High Reliability switch line from Datron (Transco Products, Inc.).

In 1996, Dow-Key was acquired by Dover Technologies. The acquisition united the Dow-Key, K&L Microwave, and Transco switch product lines to create the largest electro-mechanical switch manufacturer in the world.[1] Recent developments include new steps in areas of MEMS, PXI and LSI automation along with general microwave communication applications.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Acquisitions and Divestitures since 1955". Dover Corp. Retrieved 30 May 2014.