William J. Halligan founded his own radio manufactory in Chicago in late 1932. The company name being a portmanteau of Halli(gan) and (hand)crafters.
By 1938, Hallicrafters were doing business in eighty-nine countries and were considered to manufacture the most popular sets in the USA. That year, the move was made into the production of radio transmitters. With the outbreak of World War II, the company geared up for wartime production, and was responsible for many new designs and innovations for use by the US Armed Services, probably the best-known were the HT-4/BC-610 and related equipment used in the military SCR-299 communications package. Production of Ham radio gear and related items was all but suspended until 1945.
After the war, focus was again on consumer electronics, including radio phonographs, AM/FM receivers, clock radios and televisions. In 1966 'Bill' Halligan sold the company to the Northrop Corporation and the Halligan family involvement ended.
The Hallicrafters plant became Northrop Corporation's Defense Systems Division in the mid 1970's. Since around 1988, the remaining assets and rights to the 'Hallicrafters' name & logos have been held by court-appointed trustees. No rigs bearing the Hallicrafters logo have been build since 1975.