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Transistor Memories

My collection - Page 2

The Commodore Model 610A "Hi-Fi".... I would say that this was made sometime around 1960. It doesn't utter a peep when hooked up to a 9-V battery. I think my buddy, Bill H., paid about 50-cents for it at a flea market. A dubious investment.

An old Philco (hard-to-find manufacturer)radio, Model T61-124, powered by 3 x AA-cells in a real funky battery holder arrangement. Never has made a squawk. The info on the inside of the back panel says that the radio's design was patented by ITT, the folks who brought you the Anaconda Copper Mines in South America back in the 60s. This little radio was made in 1961, but no indication regarding county of origin. From the size of the tuning capacitor (its big), I would say that it might have been made in the good ol USA.

An Arvin 64R38. Found in 1998 at a garage sale in upstate New York, and acquired for the princely sum of $5. Made in 1964, and the mfgr's label would indicate that it actually came from Columbus, Indiana. Who knows. Has a real wierd battery holder for a 9-V battery, but a holder that is sized to accomodate one AA cell. I like it. It's in perfect shape.

The General Electric P975B. I have a few of these, and paid between $5 and $10 per radio. Uses 4 x AA cells, and plays pretty good. Made in 1964. I still see these around every so often at flea markets and garage sales, but have all that I can use. They all have a rather funky leather case, that is usually cracked and splitting. They all have "FM", though, so you can check up on the latest hits from the Smashed Pumpkins (?) on these radios, if you'd like ! radios !!!

Here is a nifty little Westinghouse H-707P6GP set, made in a dirty looking green plastic. Uses one 9-V battery, and is a generally weak performer, unless you like to picnic right under the towers of 50,000 watt AM stations. The set was made in Japan, around 1963 or 1964. You don't see too many radios around made by Westinghouse; if you see one, grab it, even if it doesn't work. Westinghouse was a company that used to make everything, like G.E., but went under due to management incompetence, according to some former employees I've talked with. I heard that the whole company ceased to exist about a year ago.... I think that their entire business at that time was making big turbine generators for electric utilities...probably more money in that kind of business, than in making transistor radios !

A Silvertone Model 1217. The Silvertone brand was marketed by Sears & Roebuck for many years; they used to slap the label on anything that made a sound. In fact, they would slap the Sears label on anything.... I'll never forget my surprise when I found, as a young part-time custodial employee of Sears in Youngstown, OH, that their men's dress shirts came in crates from places like Korea. Not that there is anything wrong with Korea. Anyhow, back to radios. I got this from a guy (Jeff C., Toledo, OH) about 5 years ago. I think he said that it belonged to his grandmother, and was in a box of stuff they picked up from her estate. The radio is another one of those sets that takes 6 D-cells, so, I clipped off the battery holder, wired in a 9-V battery, and still heard nothing but an occasional crackle. I started poking around the chassis with a screwdriver, and couldn't find the point where the circuit board foil was broken.... if it was flexed a particular way, the radio came to life with a really neat, rich tone. Then, I pressed too hard, and broke the circuit board. (Groan.) Nice leather case too.... I think that this radio was made around 1960, but, no reference information exists for this model in my books (Transistor Radios by Lane & Lane, copyright 1994, Wallace-Homestead Books, Radnor, PA), (Collectors Guide to Transistor Radios, Marty & Sue Bunis, Collector Books, Paducah, KY, copyright 1994). If you know of any other good books that cover this subject, send me an E-mail to Thanks.

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