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October 18, 1954: The first transistor radio, the Regency TR-1.

This day in audiovisual history is remembered for the launch of the first commercially manufactured transistor radio, the Regency TR-1 was a novelty due to its small size and portability, about 150,000 pieces were sold even under the premise of having a mediocre performance.

Two companies teamed up for this release, Texas Instruments and I.D.E.A. Company.

Texas Instruments had designed and built a prototype radio transistor and went in search of an established radio manufacturer for development and marketing.

Manufacturers such as RCA, Philco and Emerson showed interest however who partnered was I.D.E.A., based in Indianapolis from this alliance came the Regency TR-1.

The Regency TR-1 was praised for novelty and small size, but the sensitivity and sound quality were below tube-based competitors.


The Regency TR- 1 used a 22.5 volt battery that allowed 20 to 30 hours of operation, vacuum tube based receivers barely lasted a few hours.

Made of 4 modern plastic, it was released in 4 different colors: black, red-orange, ivory and gray.

Take the Audiovisual CTRL.


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