Michael Jack is a recording engineer and music producer by day and an avid collector of transistor radios by night!
His collection of vintage transistor radios, especially those made in Japan, are astounding and he's kindly shared with us by uploading his collections onto Flickr and Squirl:
The first Japanese transistor radio was produced by Sony, the legendary TR-55. It was released in August of 1955 in Japan. Only 50 units made it into Canada, no other country in the world had access to these radios.
Soon other Japanese manufacturers like Toshiba, Sanyo, Sharp, NEC, Standard, Hitachi, Aiwa, Realtone, Kobe Kogyo, Koyo and Mitsubishi joined in and cracked the North American and worldwide market. Their radio designs were colorful, full of chrome and were inspired by Western pop culture. Automotive motifs, outer space and googie angles appealed to the emerging youth culture who could now afford their own radios.
Between 1957 and 1963 (refered to as the golden age of transistor radios) Japanese companies changed the electronic landscape forever. Most American companies couldn't compete with the lower prices and visually stunning radios, thus closed up shop and moved their manufacturing to the South Pacific.