"A lovely little jewel of a radio"

The above was taken from an ad for this little Sony TR-730 in the Pittsburgh Press dated November 29 1961. The ad goes on to say;

 It could well be the worlds smallest but we don't say for certain...

Only as large as your key case. Yet the sound is amazing...

True, clear, strong. With the fine range of selection resulting

from Sony's research and development. Gift boxed for 

Christmas-giving. Black and gold or bone white and gold colour.

With leather case, battery and earphone.


It sounds like that ad was put through the 'Japanese to English translator'. The company advertising it was Joseph Horne Co of Pittsburgh.

This Sony TR-730 made the long trip to my collection via the hustle and bustle of post war 1960’s Japan. It crossed the Pacific to the USA in the midst of a cultural revolution! Elvis Presley topped the charts, Alan Shepard became the first American in space, the first African-American was admitted to Mississippi University and John F Kennedy was president!







This TR-730 is a hefty and solid little radio featuring classy minimalist design typical of Sony radios of this era. It has a little gold badge in the shape of a ‘7’ at the bottom of the speaker grill (stands for 7 transistors). The red aluminum tuning dial stands out nicely against the gold and black trim.

The back is stamped with the model number and the volume control is marked Off and Loud!

It is a lot smaller than a standard shirt pocket size radio measuring just 75mm H x 55mm.


MORE + AD...

Interestingly, in 1963 Sony released a childrens book titled 'Randy the Transistor Radio' that featured this radio, brought to life as a cartoon character with arms and legs!




This lavish ad claims the Sony TR-730 is a luxurious necessity. It is obviously aimed at the 'well to do' combining a TR-730 with Cartier Jewelry to maximize snob appeal! I like the feminine 'low cut top' look of the mirror, this little radio would have been perfect for the ladies.








This Sony TR-730 comes complete with the following:

·         Cardboard outer box,
·         Hard jewelry box lined with coral colored satin,
·         Leather case,
·         Plastic bag for the radio marked ‘Sony’,
·         Warranty/Registration card,
·         Sony polishing cloth,
·         Plastic cloth bag with polishing instructions in both Japanese and English,
·         Gold instruction manual in English, Dutch and French,
·         Civil Defense Preparedness Card! 

It is rare to find an early Sony radio with so many accessories and in mint unused condition as well!


Sony logo on the plastic bag. 


 The outer box.




Sony polishing cloth and plastic bag with the instructions in both Japanese and English.

The instruction manual.





The Warranty Registration Card folds into an envelope. Interestingly Sony also conducts a consumer survey to better improve their services as part of the Warranty/Registration process.





I was surprised to find a Civil Defense Preparedness Card amongst the accessories as I’ve not seen one of those before. Transistor radios manufactured for the American market between 1954 and 1963 generally carried Civil Defense marks at two specific points on the dial. In the event of an attack on America by the Soviet Union citizens would scramble into their bomb shelters and await further instructions by tuning in to either 640 or 1240 kc!