The M31 gallery of... American Classics !

1956 RCA 8-BT-8FE & 8-BT-7LE:

3 1/4"H x 5 1/2"W x 1 1/2"D

These are such wonderful "primitive" radios: They're from 1956, yet the cabinet design looks as if it were conceived not much later than 1946...

And speaking of primitive but in a more functional vein, note that neither face reveals just how many transistors are employed within: each simply states, "transistor." That's because
both were merely 4-transistor radios -- pretty lame for 1956.

As far as I know, my grandfather as an adult never owned one of these sets -- but whenever I look at these I see him sometime in the '50s or '60s listening to a Cleveland Indians' play-by-play broadcast...

(UPDATE: As collector Rick Hirsh has noted, the pink 8-BT-8FE at top does not have the original dial center -- it should be a red version of the turquoise 8-BT-7LE's dial center -- the red center shown above actually belongs to RCA's 1-BT series...)

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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