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About Cir-Kit Concepts
Vern E. Skare, Founder of Cir-Kit Concepts
Cir-Kit Concepts is a small, family-owned business located in Rochester, Minnesota. Our home town is also noted for the world famous Mayo Clinic and IBM's expansive computer facility. Cir-Kit Concepts is flattered to be a close neighbor to these medical and industrial leaders.
In the days prior to Cir-Kit Concepts' existence, wiring a dollhouse was a demanding and technically challenging endeavor. It required not only a knowledge of electricity but experience in the use of woodworking tools as well. In a real house, wiring is installed in hollow walls during the construction phase and later covered with wallboard. In a dollhouse however, the walls are made of solid plywood, requiring that the wiring be surface mounted. Originally, this meant that grooves had to be routed in the wood for all wiring runs. After the wires were in place, and the electrical connections made, wood filler would be placed over the wires and sanded flush. It was a task relished by few.
Wiring before Cir-Kit Concepts
In 1975, Vern Skare, founder of Cir-Kit Concepts, was faced with this same dilemma. Because of his electronics background he was asked to wire a relative's dollhouse. It turned out to be one of the most daunting tasks he had ever undertaken. He knew there had to be a simpler way and that many other miniaturists must share the same agonies. In researching the problems, Vern discovered that burglar alarm systems (at that time) used flat copper foil as conductive paths on window surfaces. The only problem was that a single foil conductor was used, whereas for dollhouse wiring, a two-conductor system was required. With this in mind, Mr. Skare embarked on developing a tape containing two parallel copper foils.
The first Dollhouse wired with the tapewire system in 1976.
By early 1976 the product had been engineered and manufactured, and Cir-Kit Concepts was born. This method of miniature dollhouse wiring became an immediate sensation and contributed greatly to the miniatures boom of the 80's and 90's. Since its introduction, tape wire has become the wiring method of choice worldwide for anyone wishing to wire a dollhouse.
Of course tapewire, by itself, does not complete an electrical installation. Other electrical accessories such as "to scale" outlets, plugs, and switches are also necessary and these were developed early on in the company's history. Cir-Kit was, and still is, the only company to develop such small working dollhouse electrical components. In a real house, because of their size, light bulbs are fairly easy to replace. This is not so with chandeliers and sconces in a dollhouse. Even if the bulbs are replaceable, it is still an effort to remove and replace them without possibly damaging the fixture. To solve this problem, Cir-Kit Concepts, during the early 90's, developed special adapters that allow these type of lights to be removed from the dollhouse, thus allowing a convenient method of bulb replacement. In this one area, electrified dollhouses have one distinctive feature not present in full-size houses.
On an international note, Cir-Kit Concepts also realized that to become truly global it must provide products compatible with the electrical requirements of both Europe and Asia. To that end we have manufactured tranformers (the heart of all 12 volt requirements) to work on the 220/240 vac power used in these countries. In addition, they carry the necessary electrical approvals from the controlling government agencies in England and on the Continent.
Thanks to these many innovations, and the recent addition of a full-lighting line, Cir-Kit Concepts has become the world leader in dollhouse lighting. Check out the many wonderful electrical products we have to offer and you'll soon see why.
Perhaps our most valued asset is our dedicated and knowledgeable employee staff. Without them, Cir-Kit Concepts could never have attained the world class position it enjoys today.