The Grado family has been hand building headphones and cartridges in Brooklyn since 1953, carrying down tradition & heritage through three generations.
Joseph Grado, a watchmaker at Tiffany, begins making phono cartridges by hand at home in Brooklyn
After Joseph Grado's hand-built cartridge production exceeds the limits of his kitchen table, he closes Grado Fruit around the corner from him and Grado Laboratories is founded.
Joseph Grado sells the first Grado cartridge to Leonard Radio
Joseph Grado is awarded patents for the first Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge
A decade of growth begins, fueled by the unexpected popularity of Grado phono cartridges
New products including the Dustat Record Cleaner, the Lab Series of phono cartridges, speakers, tonearm, and turntables
With word-of-mouth stronger than expected, Grado decides to forgo paid advertising and put more focus on their end product. Grado has still not paid for advertisements or endorsements to this day. Grado starts to exclusively build phono cartridges.
John Grado's first day at Grado at the age of 12 sweeping the floors. Joseph takes his nephew John under his wing to teach him about everything from sound to electrical engineering.
The cartridge is still king as Grado Labs rides the heyday of vinyl records. The Grado Signature Series is created to discover what is possible with working with metal.
John Grado graduates and joins Grado full time.
John starts running day-to-day operations. The phono cartridge business continues to grow.
Cartridge production hits its highest peak with each being hand-built in Brooklyn.
With global turntable sales slowing due to more portable options becoming prevalent, Joseph plans on retiring.
John decides to buy the whole company from his uncle, becoming President and CEO. Joseph retires.
John builds the first Grado headphone. John, Loretta (his wife), and one more employee are all that make up the 3 person company. Jonathan Grado is born.
The first Grado built from metal is released in the SR325.
The new SR60 has a review that puts it on the map. John & Loretta build each pair as Grado grows once again. Sisters Lorina & Isela are hired; they continue to oversee headphone production today. One night, John wakes up with the thought to build headphones out of wood. He goes downstairs to carve & build the first wooden Grado, the RS1.
A line of wooden speakers using a unique driver formation is designed and completed by John Grado. With the SR60s sudden popularity at the same time though, all focus is kept on the headphone line. The speakers remain at Grado unreleased to the public.
The first wooden cartridges are built, the Reference Series. The first Grado headphone amp is built from a single block of wood.
Forbes profiles John Grado, calling him "one of the world’s finest names in stereo headphones."
After years of globetrotting to build both a reliable and personal relationship with distributors around the world, John decides to have Grado attend one last trade show. His reasoning is to spend more time with his family.
The now iconic Grado Listening Room is built, where the sound for all future Grados would be designed.
The Brooklyn company celebrates their 50 year anniversary with the release of a limited edition gold SR325.
Grado releases its 2nd generation line of headphones, The i Series.
Jonathan starts building Grado's first social presence while in college. Grado’s first line of in-ears are released.
Jonathan's first official day at Grado.
Grado releases the 3rd generation of headphones, The e Series. Grado is named in the Top Eight Most Social Small Companies in America by Mashable. WIRED calls Grado “Best Headphones in the World”.
Joseph Grado passes away. Grado becomes JetBlue's official headphone. Instagram profiles Jonathan Grado and how he "Helps Shape the World of Grado Headphones”. Grado builds the first headphone ever to be out of Brooklyn tree, the GH1.