"Quality-built in America by well paid, highly skilled American workers"

These two Zenith Royal 50’s were manufactured in the USA in 1960. They were designed by Zenith to battle directly with the dominant Japanese shirt pocket imports.

During the late 1950’s and early 1960’s many American companies simply could not compete with the cheap parts and labor that went into Japanese sets however Zenith continued to design and manufacture radios using American parts and labor.

By 1960 Zenith’s American competitors such as Sylvania, Philco, Motorola, General Electric, Magnavox, RCA, Emerson and Admiral were buying either complete radios, components or both from Japanese suppliers. All of these former American companies were soon taken over by foreign interests and only Zenith remained as an American owned company until the mid 1990’s.

Ref: Zenith Transistor Radios; Evolution of a Classic by Norman Smith.




They Royal 50 originally sold for $29.95. In 1961 Zenith redesigned the front of the cabinet and lowered the price to $19.95. The cabinet of the Royal 50 was again redesigned in 1962 and 1963. 1964 was to be the last year that the Royal 50 was sold.  

The Royal 50 of 1960 came in several different color combinations. In early advertising these colors are referred to as; solid white or black or two tone white with Chinese red, two tone white with charcoal and two tone white with beige. They measure just 109mm x 65mm.







These Zenith Royal 50’s feature elegant, classically styled tuning dials. They have neat little gold cloisonné badges at the bottom right. Their overall design, well defined proportions and simple lines are reminiscent of the Regency TR-1 and like the TR-1 these are true American classics!





This ad for the tiny Zenith Royal 50 appeared in a 21st of November 1960 edition of Life Magazine.



This sticker is attached to the back of my black Royal 50.



Inside my black Royal 50.