Transistor Radios Around the World

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Philips Fanette

1958 L1X75T/R
Philips Fanette, Holland

Philips Fanette

1958 L1X75T/54
Philips Norelco, US

Philips Fanette

1959 L1X75T/82X
Philips Fanette, Holland

Philips Fanette

1959? L1X75T/63R,
Philips Canada

Philips Fanette

1959 225,
Philips Australia

Philips Fanette

1959 L1F95T,
Philips France

Philips Fanette

1959 L1D90T
Philips Germany

Philips Fanette

1958/59 L1G75/00L
Philips Great Britain

Philips Fanette, Norelco, Personic, Happy... 1958—1959

Micro-table / coat pocket radio, thermoplastic cabinet, hand-wired chassis
6 5/8 x 3 1/2 x 1 3/8 inches / 168 x 89 x 35 mm
MW (MW/LW for the Philips France L1F95T), seven transistors (Philips / Valvo / Common European / others, depending on the model)
Superheterodyne circuit, hand-wired chassis
Four 1.5v AA cells
Manufactured/assembled by Philips Holland, Philips Australia, Philips Austria, Philips Canada, Philips France, Philips Germany, Philips Great Britain, Philips North America....

Philips produced a variety of different radios over the years which also may have been named, "Fanette", but here I'm only interested in this particular model version, the one in which its cabinet's speaker grille resembles a partially unfolded Japanese fan.

This Philips radio was certainly one of the most "international" transistor radios ever made: the eight examples shown here come from seven different countries. Holland's Philips Corporation had assembly or manufacturing plants all over the world, perhaps in part to avoid tariff fees on what otherwise would be export products. A Fanette's country origin of manufacture usually can be found in its model number: "L1X---", for instance, means the the radio was manufactured in Holland (for export?). "L1A---" would be Austria, "L1D---" would be Germany (Deutschland), "L1F---" would be France, and "L1G---" would be Great Britain....

And truth-be-told, this "Fanette" designation doesn't even seem to hold up for many of the models of this version. For instance, the British-made Philips L1G75T was called, "Personic" (see image below). And the version produced by Philips Austria, the L1A75T, was named, "Happy", as seen in the advertising graphic below. And of course the "Fanette" model that was marketed in the US was called, "Norelco", Philips's brand name for all their products sold in the United States. Most "Fanettes" are designated simply by their model numbers, but the "Fanette" designation has become a useful shorthand among collectors for these radios.

I've always thought that this Philips model was one of the most handsome transistor radios ever made. It has a European simplicity of design that still makes use of styling in its cabinet layout and avoids the minimalist perfection exemplified in similar-sized radios designed by Braun's Dieter Rams (the Braun T3, T4, T41), yet it still looks much more "Modern" in design than its Telefunken and Grundig contemporaries.

Another nice design feature is the ease of chassis access — even though these are hand-wired chassis, they are held inside the cabinet only by the three screws holding the tuning cap to the cabinet's front face: remove the screws, and the chassis pops out with no further effort. These radios were designed for ease of access, something other radio manufacturers at the time didn't always seem to take into consideration.

This Philips model radio in all its variations was produced in 1958 and 1959, and production probably continued into the early 1960s. Its cabinet colors included black, ivory, red, burgundy, blue, and dark green — and very likely there are a few other colors out there as well. I think only the ivory-cabinet models had a gold-colored speaker grille.

Philips L1X75T/R

1958 Philips L1X75T/R Fanette

Philips Norelco

1958 Philips "Norelco", marketed in the US

Philips L1X75T/63R

1959? Philips L1X75T/63R, Canada

Philips L1F95T

1959 Philips France L1F95T

Philips L1D90T

1959 Philips Germany L1D90T

Philips 225

1959 Philips 225, Holland/Australia

Philips L1G75/00L

1958/59 Philips L1G75/00L, Great Britain

Philips L1X75T/82X

1959 Philips L1X75T/82X, Holland

Philips Fanette

radio review comparison chart from the October 1958 issue of
"HOBBY - DAS MAGAZIN DER TECHNIK" — one of the few sources
I've found that referred to the "Philips Fanette" as a Fanette

Philips Personic

radio data page for the British-made Philips L1G75T "Personic"

Fanette box

Fanette box photo from an eBay auction page

Philips Happy

Advertising copy for the Philips Austria L1A75T "Happy" model, reprinted in the
September-October 2008 issue of the Austrian antique radio journal, "Radiobote"

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