Monday, December 20, 2010

All I Want For Christmas.....

File:Regency transistor radio.jpg
  Here is an interesting bit of info,  about the Regency TR-1, transistor radio:
  Two companies working together, Texas Instruments of Dallas, Texas and Industrial Development Engineering Associates (I.D.E.A.) of Indianapolis, Indiana, were behind the unveiling of the Regency TR-1, the world's first commercially produced transistor radio. Previously, Texas Instruments was producing instrumentation for the oil industry and locating devices for the U.S. Navy, and I.D.E.A. built home television antenna boosters, but the two companies worked together on the TR-1, looking to grow revenues for their respective companies by breaking into this new product area.  In May 1954, Texas Instruments had designed and built a prototype and was looking for an established radio manufacturer to develop and market a radio using their transistors. None of the major radio makers including RCA, Philco, and Emerson were interested. The President of I.D.E.A. at the time, Ed Tudor, jumped at the opportunity to manufacture the TR-1, predicting sales of the transistor radios at "20 million radios in three years".  The Regency TR-1 was announced on October 18, 1954 by the Regency Division of I.D.E.A., was put on sale in November 1954, and was the first practical transistor radio made in any significant numbers. One year after the release of the TR-1 sales approached the 100,000 mark. The look and size of the TR-1 was well received, but the reviews of the TR-1's performance were typically adverse.  The Regency TR-1 is patented by Richard C. Koch, US 2892931 , former Project Engineer of I.D.E.A.  (Thanks Wikipedia!)
  Click here for a video of the manufacturing process of the TR-1.  Very retro!
  I wish I had one to add to my little collection, but they are valued up to $600.00.  I don't think so.

1 comment:

  1. I'll never forget the time--I couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 years old--when I was playing with the Speak 'n' Spell, popular in the early eighties, and Dad asked me if I thought there was a man inside doing all that talking. I said yes. Later, Dad showed me the innards of the Speak 'n' Spell, which he had taken apart. No man inside.

    Daddy, is there a man inside the Regency TR-1?



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