The M31 gallery of...

1960 Toshiba transistor display cabinet

20 3/8"H x 16 7/8"W x 9"D

In 1960 you might well have found this Toshiba display cabinet perched on a glass countertop at your local drugstore. As Eric Wrobbel has pointed out, it was in drugstores that most Japanese distributors chose to market their radios, and not in radio / TV repair shops and large department store chains, which is where US transistors were sold. Eric has suggested that this simple choice may have played an even larger role in the early '60s Japanese domination of the market than did the bargain prices of the radios themselves. As in real estate, the three keys to point-of-purchase sales are location, location, and location...


But regardless of distribution techniques, 1960 wasn't one of Toshiba's better years in transistor radio design. As shown in the image below, the group of nine sets intended for display in this cabinet ranged from three plain-Janes through four "pretty-good" radios to only two really killer sets, the 8TP-90 "Concentric Ring" and the 9TM-40 weird "Robot" (or "Shoulders") set.

Instead of displaying this 1960 crowd, I've chosen to place my own favorite Toshibas in the cabinet for my viewing pleasure:

Top row: 1960 Penny's Toshiba 6TP-408 / 1959 3TP-315 / 1959 6TP-357
Middle: 6TP-304 "Coffin" / 1960 8TP-90 / 1959 6TP-309
Bottom: 1959 Toshiba "Lace" TR-193 / 1962 6TP31A / 1959 6TP-309A


The cabinet's sides are a soft hardwood such as poplar, painted on front, top and bottom edges, and with a walnut veneer on their side faces not visible in the picture above. The shelving is painted metal, the Toshiba sign is PVC, and the glazing is clear vinyl. The cabinet also has a fairly elaborate 1/4"-square bent-brass wire stand, which doesn't show up in the picture.

Included with the Toshiba display cabinet was this 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" promotion page. My own copy had suffered severe damage over the years before reaching me.

The models in this image from left to right, top to bottom, are:
Top row: 7TP-30, 6TP-385, 6TP-394
Middle: 6TP-309A, 9TM-40, 1959 8TP-90
Bottom: 7TP-303 "Cat's Eye", 8TM-294B, 7TP-352S

(Note how the 6TP-385 horizontal shirtpocket rests directly on top of the 9TM-40 "Robot".)

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2007 by Robert Davidson,

Main Page
..Front Page

1960 Display Cabinet
Concentric Ring
Travel Radio
Four Weenies
Deep Vee
Hers 'n' His
Gets No Respect
A pair of Penny's
Cat's Eye
Bathroom Scales
Two 5TRs
3 shirtpockets
SW mini-portable
2 SW shirtpockets
3 coatpockets
As Advertised in LIFE
As Advertised in LIFE
Not Advertised in LIFE
Cat's Eye box
Bath Scale box
8TM-41 box