Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

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The Tulsa, Oklahoma, firm of Lowrance Electronics, Incorporated, developed the first high-frequency, transistorized, compact, portable, sonar-based depth finder for sport fishing and boating. Established in 1957 in Joplin, Missouri, by Carl Lowrance and his sons Darrell and Arlen, the firm moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1965. In the company's first twenty-five years it sold more than one million of the portable fish-locating units, dubbed the "Little Green Box." In the late 1980s Lowrance Electronics began to develop and market devices using Loran-C radio-navigation receivers and in the 1990s entered the production of GPS (global positioning system) devices.

Lowrance-built equipment has been put to a number of interesting uses over the years. In 1987 scientists with "Operation Deepscan" used the Lowrance X-16 Computer Graph Recorder in Scotland's Loch Ness to investigate the existence of the Loch Ness monster (which they did not prove). The company continued to specialize in recreational and commercial marine, outdoor, and aviation navigation devices at the beginning of the twenty-first century.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: "History of Lowrance Electronics," Corporate Files, Lowrance Electronics Incorporated, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Glen Titus, "Hunt for Monster Withstands Time," Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 15 November 1987. George R. Wilhelmsen, "Intuitive Navigation," Plane & Pilot 32 (August 1, 1996).

Dianna Everett

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