Air-Ola Radio Co.


A nameplate from a “Just-Rite” radio receiver, manufactured
 in Huntington between 1923 and 1926.

Courtesy Goldenseal Magazine


HUNTINGTON — Although largely forgotten today, Huntington once had
not one but two companies manufacturing early radios. Serenado brand
 radios were built by a company located in the Huntington Arcade
 in the 1000 block of 4th Avenue. Meanwhile, the Air-Ola
 Radio Co. at 615 16th St. (today’s Hal Greer
Boulevard) built radios under the
“Just-Rite” name.

Air-Ola was founded by Charles V. Cheuvront (pronounced “Chevront”)
 and F.W. Root in 1923. The company began in a “buggy garage”
in Huntington’s Park Hills section. The building was owned by
contractor A.L. Shockey, whose daughter Blanche had
married Cheuvront in 1919. Blanche’s parents
 financed the fledgling venture.

Root was a World War I veteran who had some experience with radio
 while in the Army. Cheuvront, also a WWI vet, owned a real estate
 agency and had a gift for sales and marketing. Taking note of
 the two men decided they would try their
hand at building them.

The company offered two models of its “Just-Rite” radio —
a console cabinet model that sold for $250 and
a portable radio that cost $133.50.

In an article published in the Winter 2001 issue of Goldenseal magazine,
 local historian Joseph Platania quoted Cheuvront’s son, Byron T.
“Bob” Cheuvront, as saying the company built and sold a total
of about 1,000 radios in the three years from 1923 to 1926.

With big companies like RCA and GE soon dominating the retail sale of radios,
Cheuvront gave up on manufacturing them but didn’t abandon the radio
 business. Instead, he turned Air-Ola into a wholesale business
 that carried various brands of radios. But ultimately the
company couldn’t survive the Great Depression.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Apr. 26, 2022..


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