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Sony ICF-TR40 "40th Anniversary" radio | by TRANSISTOR RADIOS
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Sony ICF-TR40 "40th Anniversary" radio

  

Sony (Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo) released it's first transistor radio (the TR-55) during the summer of 1955. The TR-55 also had the distinction of being Japan's first transistor radio.

Actually Sony had produced an earlier radio, the TR-52 many months before but abandoned it due to cabinet issues during production.

Before this historic event TTK (Sony) had been manufacturers of mono, tube reel to reel recorders and achieved modest success selling to government agencies and schools.

The giant Sony corporation was built on the success of the transistor radio, allowing Sony the ability to develop their solid state technologies further into television, video and other industrial/consumer products....remember a device called the "Walkman"?

 

In 1995 this radio was released in order to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the TR-55. I am pleased to have one in my collection but I must admit I'm very disappointed with the sound quality and performance. I am mystified why Sony wouldn't have put more effort and care into an "anniversary" product.

I am even more shocked and mystified as to why Sony decided NOT to recognize the (more significant) 50th anniversary of the TR-55 in 2005.

 

A few years ago I went to visit the Sony head offices in Toronto. The building is very close to where I work. In the lobby is a nice display of early Sony radios including a mint condition TR-55. I asked the receptionist if I could buy a copy of the book "Made In Japan" which was written by Sony's co-founder Akio Morita. She had never heard of the book......neither had many other executives in the building......wow!

It took three days but a copy was finally located for me. It was given to me as a gift which I thought was very generous. (I think they just wanted me to go away)

 

Still, why did so few employees of Sony seem oblivious to the heritage of their company?

Perhaps there will be a 60th anniversary radio? I won't hold my breath.

 

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Taken on January 1, 2004