One hundred years ago James Cannon took his first steps toward transforming the technological landscape and “connecting the next century.” The initial years were tough, but there were a few clues that Cannon had what it took to develop game-changing products. With the now legendary M connector – and many more to follow – he would eventually create a huge multi-billion industry and catapult Hollywood moviemakers, aircraft manufacturers and communications companies and other types of businesses into major industries of their own.
In 1915, he opened Cannon Electric Development Company in a small backroom space in Los Angeles, where he spent many late nights sleeping on his desk because – so lost in thought or engrossed in work – he missed the last streetcar home. When the wartime economy nearly bankrupted him, he didn’t close up shop. Instead he moved his humble company headquarters to an even more humble location – a 15-by-16 foot backyard shed that he converted into an electrical workshop.
His belief in his business was driven by an insatiable desire to invent. He had an innovative mind and sophisticated understanding of all things electrical that was far ahead of his time.
His first inventions ranged from electric toasters to the first telegraphic fire system for the city of Los Angeles. This was the start of a history of innovation that was the last a century.