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.

Huge 1970's AM Wrist Radio

As a boy I had many careers as a secret agent, astronaut, rescue ranger, and for a whole summer... Spider-Man. Movies and TV taught me that one thing that every double “0” spy needs is a wrist communicator. That sort of miniaturization was still the stuff of science-fiction, so imagine my surprise when I saw an offer to get my own wrist radio for free. Sort of.

Captain_o_mini I was reading an important periodical – probably that same Spider-Man comic book. Emblazoned on the back cover in all it's bleary halftone color glory was the chance to be my own boss and win fabulous prizes.  Ah! A career with a future – even for a seven year old kid.

Within a few weeks, the postman delivered a portfolio of greeting card & stationery samples. There were a several monotonous styles, and seemed to mostly be available in those stalwart 70's colors; buff and cornflower. Also in the package was a glossy catalog of all the schwag I could earn through my sales (or I could keep a buck for each product I hoodwinked neighbors into buying).

The fabulous prizes ranged from the impossible (a bike, B&W TV, or Atari for selling hundreds of boxes of cards) to some pretty mundane stuff. Unbelievably the object of my dreams was down at the low end – an Amico (who was that?) wrist radio! It wasn't a walkie-talkie, but an AM radio on my arm would bring me one wavelength closer to spyhood.

After schlepping around the neighborhood bugging everyone my parents knew, I earned enough for the radio. The several weeks' wait for the mailman was interminable. The cards finally came, which I dutifully distributed before realizing that the thrilling wrist radio was buried in the bottom of the box too!

Radio_quarter The carton with the radio was surprisingly large. Undoubtedly thanks to the packaging a delicate instrument required. I opened the package to find that he radio was as massive as the box was. I threaded my kid-sized wrist into the man-sized pleather “muscle strap” (this was the 70's after all), attached the giant radio, then watched the whole thing droop off my wrist.

The original ad hadn't been forthcoming about the size of the Amico, and it was so large there was no way it was going to cut it for spy-kid work. It worked okay, but because AM radio is directional, wearing it while walking around made it useless. Your best bet was to lay the Amico on a table and gingerly position it till the crackly signal came through.

Led_wrist_radio It's easy to scoff at such a lump of a radio, but there are a few amazing things about it. The Amico only needs a single AA battery – almost unheard of with transistor radios of that time. Its unique speaker also meant that it didn't require a final stage audio output transformer, saving some precious space.

The muscle strap on mine disintegrated quickly, but I still have the 30 year old radio – and it still works. I even found some of the original stationery. Looks like my old man couldn't bear to write business letters on paper with a poem about the seashore on it.

Space: 1999 wrist radio 
Just add twin antennas to make AM radio look cool
Micronic Ruby mini AM radio


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