Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Regency TR-1: Igniting the Transistor Revolution

Regency magazine advertThe first commercial transistor radio – the $49.95 Regency TR-1 – was introduced in late 1954 by the Regency division of an Indianapolis-based manufacturing company. They were the first to bite when Texas Instruments started looking for a company willing to incorporate transistors in their radio designs. Interestingly enough, industry giants such as RCA turned them down because of the transistor's 'inferior' sound.

Converted into today’s dollars, the TR-1's $50 price tag was about the same as a modern iPod. And – like the iPod – the TR-1 dramatically changed how people listened to music. Prior to the TR-1, the radio was treated like a piece of furniture that sat in the living room, under the control of watchful and selective parents. Suddenly, the radio became a personal fashion accessory. It’s no coincidence that the birth of rock and roll followed so closely after the invention of the transistor.

More than 100,000 TR-1 radios were manufactured over the course of about 14 months. The unit used expensive components and relied upon relatively expensive American labor for assembly. It became increasingly difficult for Regency to compete with the flood of inexpensive radios from Japan, and they withdrew from the transistor radio market in 1961.

Regency TR-1 Facts & Figures (Dr. Steve Reyer)
Video of the Regency factory (from a 1955 documentary film)
Original Regency Magazine Advert

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