Friday, February 27, 2009

Vintage Christmas Ads Pt. 16 - Zenith, 1955

In addition to collecting Christmas music, I have collected nearly 1000 vintage Christmas ads over the years. Many of these include celebrities, radio, television, cigarettes, liquor, modern appliances, and the like.

Almost every Friday from here until I run out, I will feature an ad from my collection.

I invite you to add a fun comment, witticism, clever remark, or observation in the comments section provided. Any comments deemed worthy of repeating will be included into this entry where all the world will see it.

While ruffling through old boxes of cassettes and junk I've carried with me since the Great Toledo Fire, I came across my old Montgomery Ward "Walkman" - a cassette/radio job complete with a three slider equalizer that gave anything I listened to that extra ounce of volume.

The fire effectively destroyed the machine but I can't bear to throw this artifact out. This was the machine I listened to as I travelled back and forth through my college years. This was my iPod.

It seems everyone these days has iPods or MP3 players that slide into your chest pocket and weigh less than a bag of chips. Which is why I chose this particular ad from Zenith.

Back in the early 1950s, portable radios were available but still contained tubes and usually required large batteries or a plug. That all changed in 1954 when the first transistor radio (the Regency TR-1) was introduced to the public - 150,000 were sold in that first year.

By Christmas, 1955, Zenith was ready to introduce their first ever transistor radio:


(Click on image to enlarge)


Never mind the radio is the size of a paperback book, this was revolutionary! Look at the price tag at the bottom - the U.S. Inflation Calendar tells us this was equal to nearly $600 in today's dollars!

There's so much to digest and comment on in this one - What do you think?

Stubbyfears says: That $75 price tag is a bit beyond the pale. Still, it doesn't inspire in me the same kind of giggles those old 80s cell phones (the ones that were bigger than shoe boxes) do.

Any other opinions?


Capt

1 comment:

stubbysfears said...

That $75 price tag is a bit beyond the pale. It wasn't much more than 10 years later that transistor radios were smaller, everywhere, and cheaper than dirt.

Still, it doesn't inspire in me the same kind of giggles those old 80s cell phones (the ones that were bigger than shoe boxes) do.