Transistor Radios Around the World

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


1959 (58?) Packard Bell

Shirt pocket radio, thermoplastic cabinet
4 1/8 x 2 11/16 x 1 3/8 inches / 105 x 68 x 35 mm
Six transistors (Toshiba), superheterodyne circuit
One 9-volt battery

I couldn't decide where to put this set – US or Japan – so I've put it in both. Packard Bell was an American radio manufacturer, but as Eric Wrobbel has pointed out, the chassis for this set was made by Aiwa and in fact it is the Aiwa/Zephyr AR-600 chassis. That's pretty cool — but what I find even more cool here is the cabinet, beautifully illustrating the adage that “less is more”. Other cabinet color schemes included (yawn) all-gray, and a black cabinet with a white grille (killer!). I'm not yet aware of any model number for this radio.

back face

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