James B. Lansing founded Lansing Manufacturing Company in 1927, initially building loudspeakers for radios. But with the rise of talking motion pictures, he supplied woofers, compression drivers and manufacturing for the Shearer Horn, the first large-scale, high-fidelity system for theater sound reproduction. For film mix stages, he developed the huge Monitor System 500, pairing a single 15-driver in a “W” box and a sizeable multicell horn.
In 1937, he created the Lansing Iconic, the first recording studio monitor, a compact (40x25x18-inch) two-way system with a 15-inch model 815 woofer in a vented, bass-reflex enclosure crossed to an 801 driver on an 808 multicell horn, offering a 30 to 15k Hz response. Both drivers were field-coil (electromagnet) designs, requiring an external power supply. Later models were available with permanent magnets, as well as home versions. Among the many fans of the Iconic system was Les Paul, who used them in his recording studio.