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Old 01-09-2017, 01:21 AM   #16
tubemonkey
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A transistor radio is a small portable radio receiver that uses transistor-based circuitry. Following their development in 1954, made possible by the invention of the transistor in 1947, they became the most popular electronic communication device in history, with billions[1] manufactured during the 1960s and 1970s. Their pocket size sparked a change in popular music listening habits, allowing people to listen to music anywhere they went. Beginning in the 1980s, however, cheap AM transistor radios were superseded by devices with higher audio quality such as portable CD players, personal audio players, boom boxes, and (eventually) smartphones.
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:48 AM   #17
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That sure looks like it's supposed to make you think of a pack of cigarettes (or maybe it's all the cigarette ads I grew up with, I don't know).
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:56 AM   #18
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That sure looks like it's supposed to make you think of a pack of cigarettes (or maybe it's all the cigarette ads I grew up with, I don't know).
Interesting take. I never thought about it that way, but it certainly suggests it.
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Old 01-09-2017, 03:49 AM   #19
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I had my first AM band transistor radio -- it looked remarkably like the one in that ad, but I'm sure it wasn't a Motorola -- in the early 60s. Meanwhile, our 1959 Chevrolet station wagon still had a vacuum tube radio that had to "warm up" before it would play.

By the late 70s, or perhaps earlier, portable radios went to ICs (integrated circuits) instead of discrete transistors. I do still have a Sears brand AM/FM portable radio that I bought in 1975. It boasts of having 12 transistors, and it still works.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:20 AM   #20
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I had a red transistor radio like that in the picture - used to put it under my pillow and listen to CKLW (Motor City) at night.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:45 AM   #21
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Another Winston ad. TV commercials for cigarettes were banned in 1971.

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Old 01-09-2017, 10:11 AM   #22
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My first thought about the pocket transistor radio ad was a pack of cigarettes too! But as Fizzy mentioned, we were bombarded by cigarette ads in the 1960s. Remember the Joe Camel cartoon, the mascot for Camel cigarettes?

I had at least one of those pocket transistor AM radios. But what I remember most was all the bakelite, tube AM tabletop radios we had in the house. Just like the tube TV sets, they took a while to warm up then heated the room with their warmth!



Someone mentioned a tube AM radio in their car. I remember helping dad work on his radio. We uninstalled it from the dash, and wow that thing was big and heavy. It was box shaped and I think probably a good 10"x10"x10" in size. It was like an iceberg in that you only saw the dials and buttons poking out of the dash. but those big old Detroit monsters we called cars were big enough to conceal the rest of the radio.

And notice that I'm only mentioning AM. I grew up near Austin, TX. FM was not very prevalent. Most radios well into the 1960s were mono only and AM only in our region. And most TVs were VHF only (channels 1-13). I remember having to get a converter box to receive our first UHF station (channels 14-83 or so). And I still remember watching the Indian test pattern on early morning TV stations while not so patiently awaiting the start of Saturday morning cartoons! TV stations in Austin went off the air around midnight and came back on around 6:00am. The times they have definitely changed.


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Old 01-10-2017, 10:36 PM   #23
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The only cigarettes kids were allowed to "smoke" back in the day

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Old 01-10-2017, 11:27 PM   #24
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The only cigarettes kids were allowed to "smoke" back in the day

And they were cheap.
Anyone else here own a reel to reel?
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:32 AM   #25
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And they were cheap.
Anyone else here own a reel to reel?
I used to own a 7" Panasonic reel-to-reel tape recorder. It was my first purchase from my first summer job as a teen back in 1967. I remember going to the hobby shop (on a military base) with empty reels and they would load 1/4" tape on them for free. Then I'd choose from the LPs they had in stock (Beatles, Stones, etc) and they would record them for me, again for free. I built up a nice library.
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:46 AM   #26
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I had a 3 inch reel to reel. It was barely good enough for "spoken word" recordings, but it was fun. (I didn't have any of tubemonkey's connections. )
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:30 AM   #27
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Yep, Big Tobacco even went after children back then. Sad but true. I remember seeing those in the stores. Thankfully my parents never allowed us to have them. I doubt I would have wanted them though as my grandparent's house and car were like chimneys. We would cough and wheeze as soon as we got there to visit, and for hours afterwards. Almost every TV show and movie had the actors smoking. Shoot, my grandmother was in the hospital in Austin using oxygen. She would reach up, turn off the oxygen, and light up right in her hospital room. You could even smoke in hospital rooms back then. I'm glad she never blew up the hospital! Different world back then for sure...

My first tape recorder, and that is what the reel to reel were, was a Radio Shack model the size of a very large hardback book. I think it was mono only as it was designed for personal recordings. It had two small reels, probably about 3" in diameter. Always fun when it went wonky and spewed out tape all over the place, usually when rewinding or fast forwarding. I was so happy to later move up to a cassette recorder.

And my parents had a Kodak Browning 8mm movie camera and projector too. Not Super 8mm, but the 1950s 8mm. Pretty good, but the projector would sometimes melt the film if you paused too long.

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Old 01-11-2017, 12:02 PM   #28
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On smoking, time frame late 70's. My best friend and I started smoking. My dad caught us. Not only did we not get in trouble, he called the nearest 7-11 and told the manager that he held a lot of parties and would be sending us girls for cigarettes. The manager said ok but we couldn't pick up any beer.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:40 PM   #29
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On smoking, time frame late 70's. My best friend and I started smoking. My dad caught us. Not only did we not get in trouble, he called the nearest 7-11 and told the manager that he held a lot of parties and would be sending us girls for cigarettes. The manager said ok but we couldn't pick up any beer.
If memory serves me correctly, I think in Texas in the early and mid 1970s the law was tobacco could only be sold to 16 and older. But I think most of the store just ignored that law. I never saw any kid get carded or turned down. Perhaps if a small child tried to buy them, but not teenagers.

I turned 18 in 1976. By that year the laws lowering the drinking age were long in place so we could buy alcoholic beverages. So all through HS it was easy to find someone in school who was 18 and could buy it for you. We thought that was so cool back then, but now 4 decades later I see how incredibly stupid that was! I'm glad they raised it back up to 21.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:03 PM   #30
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If memory serves me correctly, I think in Texas in the early and mid 1970s the law was tobacco could only be sold to 16 and older. But I think most of the store just ignored that law. I never saw any kid get carded or turned down. Perhaps if a small child tried to buy them, but not teenagers.

I turned 18 in 1976. By that year the laws lowering the drinking age were long in place so we could buy alcoholic beverages. So all through HS it was easy to find someone in school who was 18 and could buy it for you. We thought that was so cool back then, but now 4 decades later I see how incredibly stupid that was! I'm glad they raised it back up to 21.
We were 12 or 13.
Now the law I was glad they changed was working in a bar. For many years even after the drinking age changed in Sept 1986 (one day I was legal the next day I wasn't), women could work the bars (even topless and nude) at 18 they just couldn't drink. 17 if they had the looks and the bar wasn't picky about carding the women. I was relieved when they raised it to 21. Too many of the younger ones believed everything a guy would tell them. I figured that saved a few young women although it did leave some bars a bit short of dancers because the older women didn't like the pay scale. (No pay and the bar gets a percentage of your tips or at one time $25, whichever was higher.) One club tried to recruit me with that deal except mine would have only been $10 a night. They didn't like my counter offer. I was working at a bar that paid hourly+drink money+tips.
Note I had a secondary bar that I could work free in from midnight to 2 as long as I brought in customers. They would give me my drink money.
One business I was glad to leave. The work wasn't bad, most customers weren't bad, the other dancers were sometimes good, sometimes bad but do you realize how much one can drink when they are getting paid $2 a drink (note this was in 1990).
It took a few years to recover from the side effects.
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