Tuesday, June 8, 2010

See It, Hear It, Get It!

I bet this brings back some memories! Remember
falling asleep with that earplug dangling out of your ear listening to rock and roll  under the covers?
The Regency TR-1 was the first commercially sold transistor radio. It was designed and manufactured in the United States. For just one year in 1954, about 100,000 were sold for $49.95. That was alot of money back then, but that radio was a must have.
The transistor was invented years earlier at Bell Telephone Labs but the non-military application was limited to the hearing aid market. So, in 1954, the sweet innovative radio, the first of it's kind hit the streets.
This little radio could fit in your pocket and how cool it was to ride your bike and listen to tunes. This invention was a significant achievment since it included a high fidelity, high volume speaker and a single battery supply! Designed for AM broadcasts only as FM was not in the picture.
The four colors, black, cloud grey, mandarian red and ivory were the standard colors. For a little more money, you could get the pearlescent colors like lavender, pearl, white, turquoise, shell pink and lime. The optional earphone was an extra $7.50, but we all know we had to have that.
Regency president, Ed Tuder had a market stategy for these radios. He figured that wilth the cold war going on and the fear of a nuclear attack (the bomb) from the USSR, these transistor radios were going to be an essential life survival item. I suppose you could get a good signal while sitting in your bomb shelter.
I don't think we stuck that earplug in our ears to hear the news of the bomb. We just wanted our rock and roll. We became "transistorized." We could play our music and our parents couldn't even hear it!
Walter Brahaun, the co-inventor of the transistor, complained that his only regret was that it stimulated rock and roll.


Timoteo said...

That's just what I did--rode my bike and listened to my transistor radio--all day! How amazing it was to have a radio you could carry with you--one that didn't need to be plugged into the wall!

SF Michele said...

Great posting! This End of the Boomers Birth Range woman finally got an MP3 player - with AM and FM radio - yesterday for her birthday (yeah, like finally!). I didn't want one until it had both AM and FM. Otherwise, what's the point, right? This led me to research old time transistor radios and try to find the ugly old turquoise Candle 8 which my dad gave me way back in the 1960s. My first radio! With a black leather case! Loved that thing so much. I still love radio and think it's THE medium.

soulMerlin said...

Transistors were the thing when I was a teenager...although I did miss looking into the back of our old valve radio and seeing the valves light up and the warm smell of dust.

Then I bought my first cassette player.


Lydia said...

I distinctly remember our family's first transistor radio, a darling red leather thing that we just had to have after hearing one on the streets of Oakland when we were visiting my grandmother. I wish it had been one of the items that came through the years saved by my mother, but sadly it's only a memory.

Thanks for friending me at Blogcatalog so I could find your blog. A real hippie...fantastic. I was a quasi-hippie, in that I didn't travel the country or go to Woodstock, etc. But I did protest Vietnam and, ahem.....very much enjoyed the plants and fungi of the times.

timles said...

I loved my little yellow transistor radio and apparently so did my little brother. I was 10 and he was 7 at the time. I fell down an entire flight of stairs and as I laid at the bottom of the steps, stunned and crying, he said "Is your radio ok"! It was and so was I.

Joy said...

yep, I had one of those. I used to turn it on and put it under my pillow and listen through the pillow. had the earphone also.

50pluswebman said...

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