SONY TR-610

"Worlds smallest, most powerful 6 transistor radio"

The iconic Sony TR-610 was released onto the market in 1958, the same year that Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo Ltd changed its name to Sony Corporation. The demand for this model was the decisive breakthrough for the Sony name overseas. Between 1958 and 1960 the popular TR-610 went on to become the first transistor radio to sell more than a half-million units worldwide, a huge achievement given the fact that in 1955/56 Sony manufactured only 45000 transistor radios. Ref: The Eugene Register Guard, 23rd of February 1958.

The TR-610 originally sold for $49.95 including leather case, battery and earphone. It was offered in four colors; black, red, green and ivory. Ref: Ottawa Citizen, 28th of May 1959

 

 

 

 

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The Sony TR-610 is the radio that set the standard for other early transistor radios. Its appealingly and simple design won worldwide acclaim and spawned a host of imitators. In 1958 Sony won a Good Design Award for the TR-610. The Good Design Award is a Japanese comprehensive design, evaluation and commendation system that was founded in 1957. The main deciding factor for the Award Selection is always based on whether or not a product can bless and enrich society and people's lives through its design. The judges obviously saw something special in the simple, elegant design of the TR-610.

The tuning and volume dials are both on the right side, making it easy to operate with the thumb. The designers created a neat layout emphasizing the speaker grill on the front. Around this grill, a ring joins the punched metal panel to the main body by means of hidden flanges inside the circle, enabling an attractive appearance without unsightly screws or nuts. The radio has a kick stand on the back that doubles as a travel handle.

Several years later Sony released a 5 transistor version of this radio, the TR-510. It looked almost identical except the gold speaker ring and kickstand were replaced with chrome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

 

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These three advertisements for the TR-610 appeared in Life Magazine between 1959 and 1960.

 

INSIDE...

Even inside its elegant and tidy. It has a serial number of 248851.