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.

Sony's Transistor Radio Kit

Japan’s first miniature transistor radio, the TR-55, was introduced by Sony in mid-1955 at a price of 19,900 Yen ($55). It was available only in Japan and achieved modest success. However, Sony's second transistor radio was much more interesting - especially for DIYers.

Sony TR-2K transistor radio kit

The TR-2K radio kit was released a few weeks after the TR-55 at the bargain price of only 5,700 Yen ($16). They achieved the low cost by eliminating the internal speaker and amplifier and making buyers do all the assembly work themselves.

Foreshadowing the iPod's clean and curvy design... Sony claimed a hobbyist could complete the TR-2K kit in about four hours. Unfortunately, few people were familiar with electronics back then and it often took much longer to build a working set.

The company struggled for a couple of years until the international release of their TR-63 “Transistor Six” shirt-pocket radio in 1957. Instead of shoehorning in traditional components, the TR-63 was designed around all-new miniature devices. It was the smallest radio ever manufactured, selling over 100,000 units in four different colors. More importantly, it established Sony as a credible international brand.

I wonder if anyone still has an unbuilt TR-2K kit sitting around on a shelf? Assembling one could result in the best unboxing video ever.

Sony: The Little-known Transistor Radio Kit


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