Transistor Radios Around the World

Home --- Timeline --- Radios by Country

Before '54 --- North America --- Western Europe --- Japan and Pacific --- East Europe and USSR

Timeline of pocket/transistor radios: -- 1945—1958 -- 1959—1967

This timeline includes not only transistor radios but also a number of crystal and subminiature tube radios that were relevant to the early years of transistor radio production, especially pocket-sized radios.

Please consider this as an "approximate" and incomplete timeline: Many of the radios here have well-documented production dates, and some do not — I've done the best I can here with what information I've been able to find on the questionable dates, but please email me if you have something concrete to add — I regularly update this page as I come across new information.

Any radio with a black-and-white thumbnail image below indicates that the radio isn't found on this site and it's on this page only to fill out this timeline.

Likewise, not all the radios on this site are included in this timeline — only those which I consider to have some commercial or historical interest. For a complete photo-list of the radios that are on this site, please see Radios by Country.

(thanks to Alan Kastner and Eric Wrobbel for several of the dates and photos shown on this page)

1945-1953 (pre-transistor radios):

Belmont Boulevard subminiature radio

US: 1945
Belmont Boulevard

the world's first pocket radio — five subminiature tubes, superhet circuit
Pa-Kette crystal radio

US: 1946 Pa-Kette

a crystal radio, and maybe the first truly pocket-size radio
Pocket-Mite subminiature radio

US: 1948 Pocket-Mite

subminiature tube radio, sold in kit form
Privat-ear subminiature radio

US: c.1950 Privat-ear

reflex circuit, two subminiature tubes
Tiny Tooner subminiature radio

US: c.1950 Tiny Tooner

a two subminiature tube radio, made by Acousticraft, Chicago
Allocchio Bacchini Junior 1 mini-tube radio

ITALY: 1951 Allocchio Bacchini "Junior 1"

a classic radio — four mini-tube circuit with a cabinet that's just a bit
beyond the dimensions of a coat pocket radio (185 x 115 x 55 mm)
Emerson 747 subminiature radio

US: 1953 Emerson 747

the first large-production "pocket" radio? Four subminiature tubes superhet

(transistor and pre-transistor)

Regency TR-1 transistor radio

US: 1954 Regency TR-1

October '54, the world's first commercially-produced transistor radio
Grundig Mini-Boy subminiature radio

Grundig Mini-Boy

4-tube subminiature tube radio
Silvertone 4212 mini-tube/subminiature radio

US: Silvertone 4212

4-tube mini-tube/subminiature tube radio
Koyo Parrot KR-4S1 subminiature tube radio

Parrot KR-4S1

4-tube subminiature tube radio — '54 or '55?


Raytheon 8-TP transistor radio

US: Raytheon 8-TP

February 1955, a close second to the Regency TR-1
Sony TR-52 transistor radio

JAPAN: Sony TR-52

1955, first Sony Japanese transistor radio
Sony TR-55 transistor radio

JAPAN: Sony TR-55

August 1955, first commercial Japanese transistor radio
Automatic Tom Thumb 528 subminiature tube radio

US: Automatic
Tom Thumb 528

subminiature tube radio
Bulova 250 transistor radio

US: Bulova 250

the first Bulova transistor radio was a Regency TR-1
Crosley JM-8 subminiature tube/transistor hybrid radio

US: Crosley JM-8

subminiature tube/transistor hybrid
DeWALD K-701 transistor radio

US: DeWALD K-701

Emerson 838 subminiature tube/transistor hybrid radio

US: Emerson 838

subminiature tube/transistor hybrid
GE 670 series transistor radio

US: GE 670 series

first GE transistor radio
Motorola Pixie 45P mini tube/subminiature tube radio

US: Motorola
Pixie 45P

mini tube/subminiature tube radio
Raytheon T-100, T-150 transistor radio

US: Raytheon
T-100, T-150

produced in late 1955, production may have continued into 1956
RCA 7-BT-9J transistor radio


first RCA transistor radio (possibly second, after the 7-BT-10K)
RCA 7-BT-10K transistor radio

US: RCA 7-BT-10K

second RCA transistor radio (possibly first, before the 7-BT-9J?)
Zenith Royal 500 transistor radio

US: Zenith Royal 500

1955, 1956, first Zenith transistor radio, (first Zenith 500, chassis 7XT40 series)
Zenith Royal 800 transistor radio

US: Zenith Royal 800

second Zenith transistor radio -- December 1955


Telefunken TR-1 Partner prototype transistor radio

Telefunken TR-1
"Partner" prototype

January(?) '56, first German transistor radio, albeit an experimental model only
Pye Pam 710 transistor radio

UK: Pye Pam 710

March or June '56, first British transistor radio
Sony TR-6 transistor radio

JAPAN: Sony TR-6

June '56
Solistor Transistor 8 transistor radio

Solistor Transistor 8

August '56, first French all-transistor radio
Allocchio Bacchini 2001 transistor radio

Allocchio Bacchini 2001

currently considered to be the first Italian all-transistor radio, though doubtful it ever went into production
Radialba 2010 transistor radio

Radialba 2010

September '56: Italy's first pocket-size transistor radio
Admiral 7L1 transistor radio

US: Admiral 7L1

first Admiral transistor radio, offered with optional solar power pack
Automatic Tom Thumb TT-600 subminiature tube/transistor hybrid radio

US: Automatic
Tom Thumb TT-600

subminiature tube/transistor hybrid
Emerson 842 transistor radio

US: Emerson 842

first Emerson transistor radio
Emerson 849 transistor radio

US: Emerson 849

first Emerson "pocket" (coat pocket) transistor radio
Magnavox AM-2 transistor radio

US: Magnavox AM-2

first Magnavox transistor radio
Magnavox AM-5 transistor radio

US: Magnavox AM-5

second Magnavox transistor radio
Motorola 56T1 transistor radio

US: Motorola 56T1

first Motorola transistor radio
Olympic 447 transistor radio

first Olympic transistor radio
Philco T7-126, T7-128 transistor radio

US: Philco
T7-126, T7-128

first Philco transistor radios
Sentinel IE500 transistor radio

US: Sentinel

first Sentinel transistor radio


Voxson Zephyr 725 transistor radio

ITALY: Voxson
Zephyr 725

one of the earliest Italian transistor radios, though not the first
Sony TR-63 transistor radio

JAPAN: Sony TR-63

March '57, first Japanese transistor radio exported to the US
Standard SR-F31 transistor radio

JAPAN: Standard SR-F31

April '57, first Standard transistor radio
Hitachi TH-669 transistor radio

JAPAN: Hitachi TH-669

May '57, first Hitachi transistor radio
Sony TR-66 transistor radio

JAPAN: Sony TR-66

May '57
Toshiba 6TR-127 transistor radio

JAPAN: Toshiba

first Toshiba transistor radio
Koyo Weston KR-6TS1 transistor radio

Weston KR-6TS1

this Weston version was produced after the original Koyo but still in 1957
Akkord Peggie transistor radio

Akkord Peggie

May '57, first commercial West German transistor radio
Telefunken Partner transistor radio

Telefunken Partner

June? '57, a very close second...
Braun transistor 1 tube/transistor hybrid radio

c.1957 Braun
"transistor 1"

a 4-tube/3-transistor hybrid, probably released in late-1957
Standard SR-F22 transistor radio

JAPAN: Standard

first Standard shirt pocket — August '57?
Hitachi TH-621 transistor radio

JAPAN: Hitachi

September '57, first Hitachi shirt pocket
AWA Radiola 897P transistor radio

AWA Radiola 897P

November '57 — first Australian transistor radio
Sony TR-72

JAPAN: Sony TR-74

November '57, first Japan transistor radio capable of short wave reception across all standard short wave bands
Vega Turist 701-T transistor radio

Vega Turist 701-T

first Norwegian transistor radio, manufactured by Klaveness Radiofabrikk, Oslo (thanks to Knut Arve Dalsaune for this info)
Bulova 620 Comet transistor radio

US: Bulova 620

one of the more memorable transistor radio cabinet designs
Magnavox AW 100

US: Magnavox AW-100

likely the first US multi-band short wave radio
Zenith Royal 500 transistor radio

US: Zenith Royal 500
second series

chassis 7ZT40 series
Zenith Royal 1000 multi-band portable transistor radio

US: Zenith Royal
1000 series

1957/58, first transistorized Zenith Trans-Oceanic —
the second version (1000-D) is shown on this link


Siemens-Austria WSW Transetta 581 transistor radio

Siemens-Austria WSW
Transetta 581

first Siemens-Austria transistor radio
Tesla T58 2800B transistor radio

Tesla T58 2800B

first Czechoslovak transistor radio and first Eastern Europe all-transistor radio? Or was Hungary's Tunde the first Eastern Europe all-transistor radio?
Stern 1 tube/transistor hybrid radio

Stern 1

first DDR radio incorporating transistors — a 2-tube/5-transistor hybrid
Bebe Grammont transistor radio

Bebe Grammont

PR 721 Perdio Piccadilly transistor radio

1958/59 PR 721
Perdio Piccadilly

Philips Fanette series transistor radio

HOLLAND: 1958-59
Philips Fanette

here is the overview page for all Phillips Fanettes
EMV Tunde2 transistor radio

EMV Tunde

first Hungarian transistor radio (thumbnail shows the Tunde2)
Continental TR-150 transistor radio

JAPAN: Continental

Crown TR-333 transistor radio

JAPAN: Crown TR-333

(circa '58 — may have been '59)
Crown TR-666 transistor radio

JAPAN: Crown TR-666

(circa '58 — may have been '59)
National EB-165 transistor radio

JAPAN: National

this version of the EB-165 was produced at least through 1959 —
an earlier version of this model may have been produced in 1957
Hitachi TH-667

JAPAN: Hitachi TH-667

Sanyo 6C-8

JAPAN: Sanyo 6C-8

Sanyo 6C-8

JAPAN: Sanyo
Channel Master 6501

Sharp TR-173 Collie transistor radio

JAPAN: Sharp
TR-173 "Collie"

Sharp TR-180 transistor radio

JAPAN: Sharp TR-180

Sony TFM-151 AM/FM transistor radio

JAPAN: Sony TFM-151

Nov '58, world's first FM transistor radio
Sony TR-608 transistor radio

JAPAN: Sony TR-608

Sony TR-610 transistor radio

JAPAN: Sony TR-610

Nov '58, the first Japanese large-production transistor radio exported to the US, and the second nail in the coffin (after the Sony TR-63) for the US consumer electronics industry
Standard Mignon transistor radio

JAPAN: Standard

Standard SR-F25 transistor radio

JAPAN: Standard SR-F25

Toshiba 6TR-186 transistor radio

JAPAN: Toshiba 6TR-186

Toshiba 6TR-188 transistor radio

JAPAN: Toshiba 6TR-188

Toshiba 6TP-219 transistor radio

JAPAN: Toshiba 6TP-219

Toshiba TR-193 transistor radio

JAPAN: Toshiba TR-193

probably introduced in '58, mostly produced in '59
Surprise transistor radio

RUSSIA: Surprise

first "mass-production"? (around 2700 units) Russian transistor radio
Emerson 888 series transistor radio

US: Emerson 888 series

the original "no-name" 888 came out in 1957
Emerson 999 Champion transistor radio

US: Emerson 999 Champion

Braun T2 transistor radio

Braun T2

first Braun transistor radio
Braun T3 transistor radio

Braun T3

first Braun pocket transistor radio, a world-class design icon
Grundig Transistor Boy transistor radio

Grundig Transistor Boy

1958, 1959

back to top of page

next page: 1959—1967

All content � 2015 by Robert Davidson, All Rights Reserved