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Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Web Page  No 2176

13th July 2015

Top Picture: A Bush Transistor from the late 1950’s. Still got one in my shed!


Middle Picture: The innards!!!

Bottom Picture: Coco cola novelty radio



The Trannie



It was the iconic item of the 1960’s, the transistor radio. Just before they arrived on the scene I remember I had a flattish, mini valved radio which was portable but took enormous batteries.

The sixties was the decade of pop music, and pop and the transistor radio went hand in hand. We used transistor radios to listen to pop music outdoors, in the street, in the park or on the beach and drew criticism from the older generation wherever we went. By the end of the sixties, the transistor radio helped people throughout the world, from the poorest to the richest, to keep in touch with news and opinions.

The transistor was invented in 1948. It replaced the valve as an electronic component that could amplify sound. The transistor made the first shirt pocket sized radio possible. Texas Instruments marketed the Regency TR1 in the United States just in time for Christmas 1954. Japanese companies were not far behind and a few years later Sony established itself as the market leader.  The Sony TR-610 became a best seller in the US.
The UK market was more sheltered from the Japanese invasion and UK manufacturers dominated the market in the late fifties. Their offerings differed little from the portable valve sets of the early fifties In some cases they looked exactly the same, but weighed considerably less. By the early sixties, British radios were smaller in size. They were split into portable radios, such as this Dansette 111 from 1961 and personal radios which could fit into a pocket.

In 1961, the British public bought two million transistor radios. They were rapidly becoming part of day to day lives. The small size and weight of the transistor radio meant it could be carried anywhere. Many young people listened to music on the move, but unlike today's MP3 players and earlier Walkman cassette players, listening to music on the trannie was far from a personal thing. Few made use of the tiny earphone provided with the set and proudly blasted out their favourite pirate radio hits for everyone to hear.
This behaviour drew criticism from the older generation. In May 1961 a journalist complained that there were no bands playing in London's parks; instead visitors had to put up with transistor music blaring from every second teenager's radio. It was not only the young that could cause annoyance with a transistor radio.  In 1962 in St Helen's in Lancashire, postmen were banned from taking a transistor radio on their rounds. In Capri, transistor sets were banned from the beaches and all public places. There was also concern that criminals were using transistor radios to tune into police radio.  The transistor was well and truly here and making its presence felt.

By the mid-sixties, the transistor radio became a standard accessory for the Mod movement.  It was as essential as a scooter, mohair suit or parka. Transistor radios also found their way into high office, as Harold Wilson was pictured with one on his desk.

Very soon it was the Japanese transistor radio that set the standard in the UK as well as the US. Japanese imports were soon joined by cheaper products from Hong Kong and the Soviet Union. British manufacturers struggled to compete in the middle years of the sixties.By the end of the sixties, the transistor radio had become an essential item in most peoples' lives. There was one in every kitchen and people listened to them at work. Even in places as remote as Afghanistan there was a radio service. People in almost every country in the world wanted a transistor radio to listen to the BBC World Service or local broadcasts.
With transistor radios firmly cemented into the national consciousness, companies began having to adapt to draw customers to their product. One way that many did this was through the production of novelty radios, which often looked quirky and a lot different from the traditional model. Companies from outside the radio market also tapped in to the craze, producing novelty radios that bore their trademark or slogan on them. This realization of the power of radio really cemented their popularity amongst the whole nation.
The market for transistor radios remained steady throughout the 1960s, but when the 1970s came around companies were starting to offer alternatives and the design became out of fashion and slightly redundant. Boom boxes and other portable music devices moved in on the transistor radios’ territory and by the end of 1970 the last American maker of these radios ceased production.
There are still places in the world where transistor radios are made, with the most notable being China as the rise of digital radio and MP3 players has made the need for them diminish.
It is strange to think that when they were introduced they were almost a luxury item whereas today I can go into the local 99p shop and buy a tiny radio complete with earphones, batteries and built in torch for less than a pound.

Keep in touch

Peter

DUSTYKEAT@aol.com

You Write:


Had this sent to me recently

Most seniors never get enough exercise. In His wisdom God decreed that seniors become forgetful so they would have to search for their glasses, keys and other things thus doing more walking. 
And God looked down and saw that it was good.

Then God saw there was another need. In His wisdom He made seniors lose coordination so they would drop things requiring them to bend, reach & stretch. And God looked down and saw that it was good.

Then God considered the function of bladders and decided seniors would have additional calls of nature requiring more trips to the bathroom, thus providing more exercise. God looked down and saw that it was good



So if you find as you age, you are getting up and down more, remember it’s God’s will. It is all in your best interest even though you mutter under your breath. .......at last an explanation to all of this losing things and more. God has a sense of humour doesn't He?


News and Views:

Shame to hear about the death of Val Donegan at the age of 88, he was never our type of music in the 1960s but he always seemed to be around on TV when we were growning ip, him and his rocking chair and jumpers.


On this day 13th July 1960-1965

On 13/07/1960 the number one single was Good Timin' - Jimmy Jones and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Rawhide (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 13/07/1961 the number one single was Runaway - Del Shannon and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Harpers West One (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 13/07/1962 the number one single was I Can't Stop Loving You - Ray Charles and the number one album was West Side Story Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia.

On 13/07/1963 the number one single was I Like It - Gerry & the Pacemakers and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was UK Ministry of Defence proposed to replace the war office.

13/07/1964 the number one single was It's All Over Now - Rolling Stones and the number one album was Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Labour Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 13/07/1965 the number one single was Crying in the Chapel - Elvis Presley and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was Mont Blanc Tunnel officially opened.









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