Koyo Parrot Sterling LS-4 Crown 530 Carlton Copit 200 Star-Lite RN-7 Hadson Excel T211 International Sterling / Crown Hilton 2 Harpers
Japanese Tube Portable Radios from the 1950s

This gallery doesn't have one transistor to its name... but the radios here were sold to compete with transistor radios... and they LOOK like transistor radios... and many transistor collectors collect these because they're just so darn cute -- like transistors!

One great bennie with these radios is that nearly all of their cabinets are made of thermosetting plastic: the same kind of plastic that was used in Bakelite radios, Catalins, Urea, etc., and because of that they have a much more "solid" feel as compared to any of the (usually ABS) thermoplastic transistor radio cabinets. It was necessary to use this kind of plastic because of the heat generated from the vacuum tubes -- or so the theory goes. In practice, it probably really didn't matter much. Collectors more often than not find these radios in nearly-new condition, very likely because their original owners used them for five or six hours at most -- roughly the life expectancy for the expensive batteries used in these sets -- and then they tossed them in a dresser's bottom drawer, and there the radios safely lay for the following thirty years -- or so the theory goes...

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2007 by Robert Davidson, transistors@abetterpage.com

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