Transistor Radios Around the World

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circa 1959 Toshiba 6TR-92

Table radio, thermosetting plastic cabinet
7 7/8" high x 23 5/8" circumference / 7 1/2" diameter — 200mm high x 600mm circumference / 190mm diameter
Six transistors (Toshiba, 2SA49, 2SA53, 2SA73, 2x 2SB189, 2SB54), superheterodyne circuit
One standard 9-volt battery
Manufactured by Tokyo Shibaura Electric Co. Ltd. (Toshiba), Kawasaki, Japan

Commonly referred to by collectors as "the Toshiba Rice Bowl", a term that seems to be one of those handy nicknames collectors have chosen for certain Toshiba radios over the years (do I refer to this in conversation as the 6TR-92? No, I call it the "Rice Bowl"). As Toshiba's own literature shows (see the Toshiba brochure crop below), Toshiba had named this simply, "Globe transistor radio".

It would be really unfair to call this a novelty radio: this is a six-transistor table radio that happens to have a very novel cabinet design. The vast majority of novelty radios had cabinets made of cheap polystyrene, the most basic of all thermoplastics, something almost never used for cabinets of standard transistor radios. This radio's cabinet is made of hard thermosetting plastic, maybe Urea-formaldehyde, the sort of plastic found on mid-'50s Japanese tube portables and early Japanese transistor radios. And the six-transistor circuit certainly isnít typical of a "novelty radio".

I'm calling this a "circa 1959" radio, even though a number of sources say it was first produced in 1958 — I'll stay conservative here unless I hear otherwise. And the serial number on this example indicates that this unit was manufactured in 1964, suggesting that the "Rice Bowl", like so many other transistor radios, may have had a very long production run.

Toshiba 6TR-92

Toshiba 6TR-92

top view

base underside

crop from a four-page Toshiba brochure —
click on the photo for a larger image

back to 1959 Japan index page

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