GOLDEN SHIELD 7010 'SYLVANIA'

This Sylvania Golden Shield 7010 was manufactured in Japan in 1960. Sylvania is an American company known for making ‘edgy’ radios that are a bit different to the norm. It originally sold for $37.50 including the case, earphone and battery (REF: The Pittsburgh Press December 4 1960).

At some point during the late 1950’s early 1960’s Sylvania began contracting with Japanese companies to supply shirt pocket radios that would carry their brand name. In 1959 several American manufacturers including Motorola, Olympic, Bulova and Magnavox started this shift to Japan. American companies simply could not compete with the cheap parts and labor that went into Japanese sets. By the end of 1963 there were no American shirt pocket sets being made with all-American parts. Ref: ‘The Portable Radio In American Life’ by Schiffer.

So why did Sylvania feel it necessary to manufacture radios in Japan under the Golden Shield name? I’m just speculating now but perhaps this was an attempt to distance themselves from the often negative stigma that ‘Made in Japan’ still carried at this time. After all Sylvania was a great American company with a long history dating back to 1901! In fact from 1951 until 1956 Sylvania were sponsors of the game show 'Beat The Clock'. The grand prizes on the show were Sylvania television sets, and some consolation prizes would be Sylvania radios! Sylvania was a true blue American company and no one could accuse them of being ‘sellouts’. Interestingly there is no mention of Sylvania anywhere on this Golden Shield radio.

 

 

 

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Picture yourself in early 1961 swinging your machete back and forth as you beat a path through the dense South American jungle. As you pause to wipe the sweat from your brow a sudden glint catches your eye. With renewed vigor you slash through the last of the overhanging vines and emerge into a large clearing. You are not prepared for what you see! You stare in amazement at an ancient Mayan temple cut from rough stones. Sitting atop it, at least 50 feet high is an awe inspiring sight! Stunned, you draw forth your little Golden Shield 7010 and hold it up in amazement. Cresting the top of the temple sits a giant golden eye, surrounded by a celestial silver pattern! Looking back and forth at your Golden Shield and the ancient temple you feel blessed to have forever a reminder of this day; your priceless little Japanese Golden Shield!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This little Golden Shield 7010 features a brilliant gold tuning dial surrounded by a host of diverging silver lines. It kind of reminds me of one of those crazy Frilled Neck Lizards from the Australian outback! The plastic cabinet is the purest white and it is a pleasure to hold, well made and weighty.

It measures just 82mm by 56mm.


 

 


 

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This Golden Shield uses Hitachi transistors. Perhaps Sylvania contracted Hitachi to build this radio?