The M31 gallery of...
cool & collected:
Sony TR-610 / TR-510 / TR-610
4 1/4"H x 2 3/4"W x 1 1/4"D
I'm ending the "Cool" gallery here with the Sony 610 because this Sony is where transistor cool began -- at least for transistors without any hint of reverse plastic on their faces...
Released in November 1958, the 610 was massively popular both in Japan and in the U.S., with close to half a million sets having been manufactured. By comparison, Sony produced just over 100,000 units each of the TR-63 and the TR-86 -- the 86, by the way, coming out two months after the 610!
The Sony 610 came in four colors: red, ivory, black, and green. Green is the rare color. Black is the color that works best on this set. A year or two later Sony produced a cheaper 5-transistor version: you guessed it -- the TR-510.
Sony's TR-610 was also very popular in the industrial design world, appearing in dozens of books and magazine articles of the time as an example of really well-considered design. It was slim and countoured and it fit in one's hand so much better than anything which had come before it. The cabinet design was simple and elegant. And if imitation is the best form of flattery, then the Sony 610 wins hands-down in the flattery category: Over the following three or four years, dozens of models made by other manufacturers appeared with cabinet faces obviously inspired by the 610, including one heck of a lot of Realtones.
The Sony TR-610 is THE classic transistor radio, the one set which best embodies just what it was that transistor radios of that era were all about...
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