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Clare Pendar
Founded 1966
Headquarters Post Falls, Idaho, USA

Clare-Pendar Co. was a switch manufacturer in Post Falls, Idaho, formed in 1966 from the takeover of Pendar, Inc. by C. P. Clare & Co. Clare-Pendar was a subsidiary of Clare, and transitively a subsidiary of General Instrument as of 1967.


1966 newspaper article

An unknown newspaper published the following article on the 11th of May 1996 following the takeover of Pendar by Clare. This article, along with a related article in The Spokesman-Review from April of that year, suggest Pendar was founded in 1963.[1]

Acquisition of Pendar, Inc., of Post Falls by C. P. Clare & Co. of Chicago re-emphasizes industrialist C. P. Clare’s deep roots in Idaho.

A graduate of the University of Idaho, where he obtained a degree in electrical engineering, he spends much of his time at his ranch in the Wendell, Idaho area, although the company which he founded and which bears his name is based in Chicago.

His 29-year-old firm, which makes relays and related control components, has acquired a 98 per cent interest in Pendar, which makes illuminated push keys for the data processing and aerospace industries.

Clare, who has brought his organization into a position of leadership in the electrical and electronic equipment field, sees “bright prospects for expansion” of the Post Falls plant.

150 Employed

Pendar, to be known as Clare-Pendar Co., is a three-year-old manufacturer now employing 150 persons in a new $500,000 plant just east of Post Falls.

Clare & Co. has plants in Chicago and Mundelein, Ill.; Fairview, N.C., and Rapid City, S.D., and subsidiaries in Canada and Belgium. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Universal Controls, New York, which makes and operates totalisator equipment for race tracks. He was born at Rossland, B.C.

Clare lived as a youth in Chewelah, Wash. His wife originally was from Spokane.

He founded Clare & Co. in 1937. In that year he and H. J. Peterson, now director of manufacturing, built the first ship- …

[ lines omitted from the image on eBay ]

… in 1957 retained company management and policies while enhancing its position in the industry and affording greater opportunity for expansion.

Clare also has attended the University of Michigan and Harvard Business School.

Hospital Aided

He has lived in Arlington Heights, Ill., since 1938, and was a prime mover in construction of the Northwest Community Hospital there, of which he is a trustee, and the Presbyterian Church there, to which he belongs.

He is also a trustee of both the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and Dickinson College at Carlisle, Pa.

He is a director of the United of America Bank in Chicago, Amphenol Corp. of Broadview, Ill., Industrial Wire & Cable Co., Ltd., of Toronto, Clare-Elliott, Ltd., of London and Universal Controls, Inc.

Mr. and Mrs. Clare have a married daughter who lives in Park Ridge, Ill.


The history of Clare-Pendar's product range is fairly complicated. For the purposes of the wiki, "Clare-Pendar" covers all switches known to have been introduced during the Clare-Pendar era, in particular those which at any point in their lifetime carried Clare-Pendar branding or were found in keyboards made by Clare-Pendar.

The term "Clare/Pendar" covers the European product range, which overlaps with the North American product range using different part numbers. The European range was manufactured under the same part numbers both by Clare and Pendar but Clare and Pendar in Europe were never merged.

Some switches are Clare-Pendar branded, but some series were left unbranded.

Part numbers

Clare-Pendar keyboard switch part numbers followed a strict pattern, as detailed in the General Instrument Series S950 catalogue page:

SNNAOC [mod …]
"Configuration and case dimensions", forming the first two digits of the series name; the derivation of these digits is yet to be discovered
Action: 0 = momentary, 1 = alternate action (non-latching), 2 = latching alternate action
Number of normally-open contacts
Number of normally-closed contacts

Momentary switch part numbers begin with the series name, but non-momentary switches do not. A S880 momentary SPST NO switch would be S88010 (S880 + 0, 1 NO, 0 NC), while the latching equivalent would be S88210 (S880 + 2, 1, 0).

Without modification codes, keyboard switches are assumed to have a vertical keystem and to be non-illuminated. Designs other than the default are indicated by "modification" codes, which follow the part number. As many modification codes as are needed are appended to the part number. The 11° stem "modification" code is E9, so S880 SPST NO is part number S88010 E9.


"ASM MEXICO", short for "Assembled in Mexico", is a marking found on switches in the product range that started out with Pendar or Clare-Pendar. The single dated example of a switch marked "ASM MEXICO" is from an Ampex-made Cray Research keyboard with Clare foam and foil switches, manufactured in 1982;[2] this keyboard has a single module branded "CP CLARE". It is curious that this switch series was associated directly with the parent company C P Clare, instead of the Clare-Pendar subsidiary, and long after C P Clare took over Pendar.



External links


  1. The Spokesman-Review — Pendar, Inc. Stock Goes to Clare Co. (1966-04-26; Google News Archive Search)
  2. Deskthority — Cray Research Inc keyboard - made by Ampex