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Consumer Portables:The beginning?

Ernst Erb Jürgen Stichling Bernhard Nagel 
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Forum » Radio- and technical History » Technical history: 1920 and later » Consumer Portables:The beginning?
Mike Gemberling
USA  Articles: 2
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23.Jul.20 03:00
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At 53 years of age, I seemed to have acquired a nasty vintage radio habit. My introduction however has been a few late 40's early 50's American portable tube sets that I really enjoy. My question is, was that time period really of the introduction of portables to the public? I haven't seen much else beyond military issue equipment. Thankyou



Ernst Erb
Ernst Erb
CH  Articles: 5653
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23.Jul.20 09:03
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It all depends what you call "a portable radio"!
If you call it "by technique" (to be independant from the "current by wire" this is surely one of the early:
Portable Wireless Receiver Reginald C. Clinker 

Or you can have it before the tubes with: Sekundärempfänger System Prof. Braun and even earlier equipment. the really first was David Edward Hughes (London) in 1878. Oliver Lodge in 1889 (Sparc Gap Coherer). This was no speech but morese code. See "Radios von gestern" page 28.

If you go by size only, you might call early crystal detectors to be the first portable radios for music and speech and also first tube receivers by Lee de Forest. This was (also) before the war 1914 to 1918.

But if you look for small portable tube receivers you might start with the tube line up of 1R5, 1T4, 1S5, 3S4. from 1940/41. The BP-10 Personal from RCA is one of the examples.

And if you want it really shirt picket size and built in series, it begins with the Regency TR-1 Pocket Radio in October 1954. But better see the nearly full story of this. In German it is more complete.

Mike Gemberling
USA  Articles: 2
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26.Jul.20 14:40
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Thankyou for your reply. The BP10 schematic is almost identical to my BX55. That's the radio that got me thinking about this. It was $27 at the time which was quite a bit of money however the "common man" could afford one. A radio in every home was quite a feat but to be able to pack it up and take it to the beach must have really been something (!).