The M31 gallery of... American Classics !

1959 Emerson 555 "All American":

3 1/2"H x 6"W x 2"D.

The 555 looks like it was dipped in acrylic -- the cabinet's entire front and back faces are "reverse plastic." I can't think of any other radio -- US or Japanese -- which shares this distinction. This radio's cabinet also came in a very nice black-and-white color combo.

The 555 employed a mere four transistors in its circuitry -- certainly nothing to brag about -- and so, like most other 4-transistor sets, it called itself an "All Transistor" radio...

The plastic used for the 555's cabinet, as stated in the Eastman Kodak advertisement shown above, is Tenite Butyrate. "Tenite" actually is a trade name for Cellulose Acetate. I don't know whether Cellulose Acetate Butyrate is stronger than ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene), the typical transistor radio cabinet plastic, but it is much softer and warmer to the touch.

The back face of the 555 nicknames its Butyrate cabinet plastic as, "NEVABREAK," and this same name shows up on the back faces of Emerson's legion 888 series cabinets, suggesting that the 888 cabinets were also made of Cellulose Acetate Butyrate. (And as with the 555 cabinets, the 888 cabinets are much softer to the touch than is ABS plastic. The "NEVABREAK" name on these cabinets originally lead many collectors, myself included, to assume the cabinets were made of Nylon, like the Zenith Royal 500 cabinets, but a simple plastics "pin test" shows that Nylon it ain't...)

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2007 by Robert Davidson,

Main Page
American Classics
..Front Page

Beginning at
.. the beginning...

The first "decent"
.. transistor radio?

The most
.. popular one?

2 Tom Thumbs
Bookish Crosley
Emerson hybrid,
.. Emerson submin

the first 2 RCAs
2 Philco T-7s
Motorola 56T1
Emerson 849
.. gets no respect...

Raytheon T-100
a chrome monster
Emerson 555
A pair of RCA
.. primitives

.. Jet-Wing

A Westinghouse
.. Micro-table

2 Silvertone
.. primitives

Philco T-51
2 Admirals
West. "Bowtie"
The Late Great
.. Emerson 888s...

GE can't get
.. no respect...

3 Silvertone
.. shirtpockets

3 Philco
.. shirtpockets

a "Boomerang"
.. by Bulova

2 Arvin
.. shirtpockets

.. Mamma

.. "Super Seven"

2 Silvertone
.. coatpockets

Bulova "Super 6"
.. small beauty


2 Silvertone

Zenith Royal 50
..shtpkt series

Motorola's first
..Japanese set

two Motorola

Futura "earphone
.. only" shtpkt


'57 GE 715

..'64 Time Capsule

..'64 Time Capsule 2...

..'64 Time Capsule 3...

teeny Admiral

Wards Airline

1960 Arvin

teeny Bulova

Bulova watch


two Philco
..Japanese shtpkts

RCA shirtpocket