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Cleartone Radio Supply Company, Providence Rhode Island, was a supply company that also produced one known product, a crystal set. First mention of Cleartone and its proprietor, Albert E Proffitt was in 19221. Albert was born on2 in July 9th 18958 and listed as being a telephone operator and living on 148 Authur Avenue in the 1915 Providence directory5

In 1916 we find Albert living at 160 Reynolds Ave and working at 661 Westminster Ave in Providence as a Electrician11

In 1917 Albert registered for the draft for WWI, is listed as a telephone repair man working for the Parovidence Telephone Company and living at 25 Comstock Ave, Providence.9

He is listed as a telephone lineman and living at Laura St. in the 1920 census2.

In the 1920 Providence directory he is listed as living at 5 Laura St and his occupation is an electrician3 at 112 Union St which was the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company4. Albert and Cora had 2 children Albert and Dom6 .

In 1922 there are reports in both the New York Times 13 and Healdsburg Tribune 14 that Mr Proffitt discovered a way to listen in on private telephone calls using a four step audio frequency amplifier circuit, home made with modifications.

The 1940 Census lists Mr Proffitt as living at 70 Audubon Ave in Providence, occupation, telephone maintenance7

In 1942 Albert regstered for the WWII draft. He is listed as working for the New England Telephone Company at 234 Washington Street in Provicence10.

Later in life Mr Proffitt worked at Brown & Sharp as an inspector. It is interesting to note that in the same directory listing it lists another Albert E who is a repairman for New England Telephone & Telegraph. Since it has been establiahed the Albert lived in North Providence at this time you can conclude the other listing is the Son, whom seems like followed in his dads footsteps12.

Mr Proffitt died on January 27th, 19538


NewYork Times, 1922
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
March 20th, 1922
NewYork Times, 1922
Radio Industry, September 1925
Radio News, March 1925
December 23rd 1922



1 Electrical Merchandising, December, 1922

2 1920 Census

3 1922 Providence House Directory

4 Biennial Report of the Public Serivice Commission of the State of Vermont

5 1915 Providence House Directory

6 1930 Census

7 1940 Census

8 Social Security Death Record

9 WWI Draft Card

10 WWII Draft Card

11 1916 Providence City Directory

12 1941 Providence City Directory

13 New York Times, 1922

14 Healdsburg Tribune, April 1922