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About Universal Radio 
Profile Founder Location

F.R. Gibb

Universal was founded in 1942 by F.R. "Gibby" Gibb W8IJ. Universal Service, as it was then called, was located on North Third Street in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Universal carried all the major lines of the time including Millen, Drake, Collins, Hammarlund, Hallicrafters, Johnson and National. After Gibby became a silent key, his XYL ran the business briefly and sold it to another owner, Thomas Harrington W8OMV in 1977 who moved it to Reynoldsburg (a suburb east of Columbus). Universal has been owned by Barbara KC8VWI & Fred N8EKU Osterman from 1982 until closing sometime in 2021.


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