Transistor Radios Around the World

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1958 Célard Minicapte(?)

Portable radio, thermoplastic cabinet
9 x 6 3/4 x 3 1/2 inches / 229 x 171 x 89 mm
2-band, MW/LW
Six transistors (Thomson, 36T1, 37T1, 992T1, three unknown), superheterodyne circuit
Two 4.5-volt batteries
Manufactured by Radio-Célard; Grenoble/Paris

A large rounded-cabinet portable transistor radio looking straight out of the mid-'50s, mostly because Radio-Célard placed a transistor chassis into an earlier tube radio cabinet (1956 Minicapte Piles) and then pasted the word "TRANSISTOR" on its face. The cabinet's large-radius corners would suggest that the plastic is thermosetting, but a plastics test has shown that it's thermoplastic. The pale yellow front and black back and handle make for a superb color design.

I'm not sure about the name of this set — one source has it as "Minicapte," a name found on some other Radio-Célard transistor portables, but there's nothing on or in the example I have to corroborate that, and I haven't found any other information on this set to confirm that name.

On this example the tuning dial knob is not original — see the photo below for two possible examples of the original tuning dial knob.

Where I say, "three unknown" in the transistor count above, that's because one black top hat is missing its numbering and two can transistors are locked inside a metal shield that I don't feel like opening up.

Célard Minicapte

1958 Célard Minicapte(?)

Célard Minicapte

two possible examples of the original tuning dial knob

Célard Minicapte

the chassis — click on the photo for a larger image

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