Robert Lloyd Drake founded the R.L.Drake Company in 1943, which initially manufactured amateur radio accessories. After moving to Miamisburg OH, the 1-A was introduced in 1957 it was their first shortwave receiver to cover the amateur radio bands in an astonishingly compact format.
Around 1960 - 1966, further receivers followed: The 2-A (-C) also covered only the amateur radio bands. In 1964, the first variant of the extremely successful R-4 series was introduced, the double conversion sets allowed a dial accuracy of less than 1 kHz on the amateur radio bands and additional crystal controlled radio broadcast bands. Together with the matching transmitter T-4 or T-4X, the Drake-4 line was the backbone of many amateur radio stations and is still today often found at amateur radio flea markets. In accordance with the company's philosophy, Drake offered compact, simply constructed receivers with numerous extras at a fraction of the price of the heavyweight military receivers, which had been considered the reference receivers until then.
After an intermediate step with the fully transistorised SPR-4, which was launched in 1969, the continuous converage R-7 / 7A followed in 1978. In terms of reception performance, the R-7 with its digital frequency display achieved what was technically feasible at the time around 1981 and was considered the reference receiver for many years.
After that, Drake withdrew from the amateur radio and shortwave receiver business and shifted its activities to the satellite receiver sector. It was not until the beginning of the 1990s that Drake again earned a place in the hearts of many shortwave listeners with a whole range of receivers.