Transistor Radios Around the World

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Before '54 --- North America --- Western Europe --- Japan and Pacific --- East Europe and USSR



Timeline of pocket/transistor radios: -- 1945—1958 -- 1959—1967

This timeline includes not only transistor radios but also a number of crystal and subminiature tube radios that were relevant to the early years of transistor radio production, especially pocket-sized radios.

Please consider this as an "approximate" and incomplete timeline: Many of the radios here have well-documented production dates, and some do not — I've done the best I can here with what information I've been able to find on the questionable dates, but please email me if you have something concrete to add — I regularly update this page as I come across new information.

Any radio with a black-and-white thumbnail image below indicates that the radio isn't found on this site and it's on this page only to fill out this timeline.

Likewise, not all the radios on this site are included in this timeline — only those which I consider to have some commercial or historical interest. For a complete photo-list of the radios that are on this site, please see Radios by Country.

(thanks to Alan Kastner and Eric Wrobbel for several of the dates and photos shown on this page)

1945-1953 (pre-transistor radios):

Belmont Boulevard subminiature radio

US: 1945
Belmont Boulevard

the world's first pocket radio — five subminiature tubes, superhet circuit
Pa-Kette crystal radio

US: 1946 Pa-Kette

a crystal radio, and maybe the first truly pocket-size radio
Pocket-Mite subminiature radio

US: 1948 Pocket-Mite

subminiature tube radio, sold in kit form
Privat-ear subminiature radio

US: c.1950 Privat-ear

reflex circuit, two subminiature tubes
Tiny Tooner subminiature radio

US: c.1950 Tiny Tooner

a two subminiature tube radio, made by Acousticraft, Chicago
Allocchio Bacchini Junior 1 mini-tube radio

ITALY: 1951 Allocchio Bacchini "Junior 1"

a classic radio — four mini-tube circuit with a cabinet that's just a bit
beyond the dimensions of a coat pocket radio (185 x 115 x 55 mm)
Emerson 747 subminiature radio

US: 1953 Emerson 747

the first large-production “pocket” radio? Four subminiature tubes superhet


1954:
(transistor and pre-transistor)

Regency TR-1 transistor radio

US: 1954 Regency TR-1

October '54, the world's first commercially-produced transistor radio
Grundig Mini-Boy subminiature radio

WEST GERMANY:
Grundig Mini-Boy

4-tube subminiature tube radio
Silvertone 4212 mini-tube/subminiature radio

US: Silvertone 4212

4-tube mini-tube/subminiature tube radio
Koyo Parrot KR-4S1 subminiature tube radio

JAPAN: Koyo
Parrot KR-4S1

4-tube subminiature tube radio — '54 or '55?


1955:

Raytheon 8-TP transistor radio

US: Raytheon 8-TP

February 1955, a close second to the Regency TR-1
Sony TR-55 transistor radio

JAPAN: Sony TR-55

August 1955, first commercial Japanese transistor radio
Automatic Tom Thumb 528 subminiature tube radio

US: Automatic
Tom Thumb 528

subminiature tube radio
Bulova 250 transistor radio

US: Bulova 250

the first Bulova transistor radio was a Regency TR-1
Crosley JM-8 subminiature tube/transistor hybrid radio

US: Crosley JM-8

subminiature tube/transistor hybrid
DeWALD K-701 transistor radio

US: DeWALD K-701

Emerson 838 subminiature tube/transistor hybrid radio

US: Emerson 838

subminiature tube/transistor hybrid
GE 670 series transistor radio

US: GE 670 series

first GE transistor radio
Magnavox AM-2 transistor radio

US: Magnavox AM-2

first Magnavox transistor radio
Motorola Pixie 45P mini tube/subminiature tube radio

US: Motorola
Pixie 45P

mini tube/subminiature tube radio
Raytheon T-100, T-150 transistor radio

US: Raytheon
T-100, T-150

produced in late 1955, production may have continued into 1956
RCA 7-BT-9J transistor radio

US: RCA 7-BT-9J

first RCA transistor radio (possibly second, after the 7-BT-10K)
Zenith Royal 500 transistor radio

US: Zenith Royal 500

1955, 1956, first Zenith transistor radio, (first Zenith 500, chassis 7XT40 series)
Zenith Royal 800 transistor radio

US: Zenith Royal 800

second Zenith transistor radio -- December 1955


1956:

Telefunken TR-1 Partner prototype transistor radio

WEST GERMANY:
Telefunken TR-1
"Partner" prototype

January(?) '56, first German transistor radio, albeit an experimental model only
Pye Pam 710 transistor radio

UK: Pye Pam 710

March or June '56, first British transistor radio
Sony TR-6 transistor radio

JAPAN: Sony TR-6

June '56
Solistor Transistor 8 transistor radio

FRANCE:
Solistor Transistor 8

August '56, first French all-transistor radio
Allocchio Bacchini 2001 transistor radio

ITALY:
Allocchio Bacchini 2001

currently considered to be the first Italian all-transistor radio, though doubtful it ever went into production
Admiral 7L1 transistor radio

US: Admiral 7L1

first Admiral transistor radio, offered with optional solar power pack
Automatic Tom Thumb TT-600 subminiature tube/transistor hybrid radio

US: Automatic
Tom Thumb TT-600

subminiature tube/transistor hybrid
Emerson 842 transistor radio

US: Emerson 842

first Emerson transistor radio
Emerson 849 transistor radio

US: Emerson 849

first Emerson "pocket" (coat pocket) transistor radio
Motorola 56T1 transistor radio

US: Motorola 56T1

first Motorola transistor radio
Philco T7-126, T7-128 transistor radio

US: Philco
T7-126, T7-128

first Philco transistor radio


1957:

Voxson Zephyr 725 transistor radio

ITALY: Voxson
Zephyr 725

one of the earliest Italian transistor radios, though probably not the first
Sony TR-63 transistor radio

JAPAN: Sony TR-63

March '57, first Japanese transistor radio exported to the US
Standard SR-F31 transistor radio

JAPAN: Standard SR-F31

April '57, first Standard transistor radio
Hitachi TH-669 transistor radio

JAPAN: Hitachi TH-669

May '57, first Hitachi transistor radio
Sony TR-66 transistor radio

JAPAN: Sony TR-66

May '57
Toshiba 6TR-127 transistor radio

JAPAN: Toshiba
6TR-127

first Toshiba transistor radio

JAPAN: Koyo
Weston KR-6TS1

this Weston version was produced after the original Koyo but still in 1957

WEST GERMANY:
Akkord Peggie

May '57, first commercial West German transistor radio

WEST GERMANY:
Telefunken Partner

June? '57, a very close second...

WEST GERMANY:
c.1957 Braun
"transistor 1"

a 4-tube/3-transistor hybrid, probably released in late-1957

JAPAN: Standard
SR-F22

first Standard shirt pocket — August '57?

JAPAN: Hitachi
TH-621

September '57, first Hitachi shirt pocket

AUSTRALIA:
AWA Radiola 897P

November '57 — first Australian transistor radio

JAPAN: Sony TR-72

November '57, first Japan transistor radio capable of short wave reception across all standard short wave bands

US: Admiral 7M12

first Admiral "pocket" radio

US: Bulova 620
"Comet"

one of the more memorable transistor radio cabinet designs

US: Magnavox AW-100

likely the first US multi-band short wave radio

US: Zenith Royal 500
second series

chassis 7ZT40 series

US: Zenith Royal
1000 series

1957/58, first transistorized Zenith Trans-Oceanic —
the second version (1000-D) is shown on this link


1958:

AUSTRIA:
Siemens-Austria WSW
Transetta 581

first Siemens-Austria transistor radio

CZECHOSLOVAKIA:
Tesla T58 2800B

first Czechoslovak transistor radio – and first East Bloc all-transistor radio? – or was Hungary's Tunde the first East Bloc all-transistor radio?

DDR (GDR):
Stern 1

first DDR radio incorporating transistors — a 2-tube/5-transistor hybrid

FRANCE:
Bebe Grammont

GREAT BRITAIN:
1958/59 PR 721
Perdio Piccadilly

HOLLAND: 1958-59
Philips Fanette

here is the overview page for all Phillips Fanettes

HUNGARY:
EMV Tunde

first Hungarian transistor radio (thumbnail shows the Tunde2)

NORWAY:
Radionette Kurer

first Norwegian transistor radio, in production from 1958 through 1962

JAPAN: Continental
TR-150

JAPAN: Crown TR-333

(circa '58 — may have been '59)

JAPAN: Crown TR-666

(circa '58 — may have been '59)

JAPAN: National
EB-165

this version of the EB-165 was produced at least through 1959 —
an earlier version of this model may have been produced in 1957

JAPAN: Sharp
TR-173 "Collie"

JAPAN: Sharp TR-180

JAPAN: Sony TFM-151

Nov '58, world's first FM transistor radio

JAPAN: Sony TR-610

Nov '58, the first Japanese large-production transistor radio exported to the US, and the second nail in the coffin (after the Sony TR-63) for the US consumer electronics industry

JAPAN: Standard
Mignon

JAPAN: Standard SR-F25

JAPAN: Toshiba 6TR-186

JAPAN: Toshiba 6TR-188

JAPAN: Toshiba 6TP-219

JAPAN: Toshiba TR-193

probably introduced in '58, mostly produced in '59

RUSSIA: Surprise

first “mass-production”? (around 2700 units) Russian transistor radio

US: Emerson 888 series

the original "no-name" 888 came out in 1957

WEST GERMANY:
Braun T2

first Braun transistor radio

WEST GERMANY:
Braun T3

first Braun pocket transistor radio, a world-class design icon

WEST GERMANY:
Grundig Transistor Boy

1958, 1959

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