Globe Trotter 8 Transistor Radio

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts
Date Posted: 3/28/2016

Before 1954, so-called portable radio receivers used vacuum tubes to receive and amplify signals. The large batteries needed to power most tubes made radios large and heavy. Receivers built with subminiature tubes existed but were expensive. The invention of transistors in 1947 allowed engineers to design radios that could fit in a large pocket and such radios were first sold in late 1954. This RCA receiver from 1956 used 8 transistors and ordinary flashlight batteries. Though too large for a pocket, this radio was much easier to carry and more reliable than tube-based radios.