August 1962 Popular Electronics
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
published October 1954 - April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
Radio Shack was opened in 1921 by brothers Theodore and Milton Deutschmann, then was bought by Tandy Corporation in 1962, reportedly for $300k. As well as being an outlet for hobbyists to buy common electronics parts, Radio Shack sold its own line of electronics like radios, calculators, and stereo systems under the brand name Realistic. A lot of people don't like Radio Shack the same way many don't like Walmart - usually for no good reason. I first started shopping at Radio Shack in the mid 1970s when I needed parts to build a homebrew stereo radio receiver from an article in Popular Electronics (if I remember correctly). I still like going in the store and looking around, occasionally actually buying something. Do you remember the Free Battery card they issued where you could get one free battery per month? How about the vacuum tube testers that were in the stores until the late 1970s? When our TV would crap out (my parents didn't own a solid state TV until around 1980), I grabbed every tube in the set and my father drove us to Radio Shack (or sometimes the Read's Drug Store) where we would test them all. He was not happy when that didn't work and he had to call a repairman. Here is a 1958 advertisement for a tube tester by Century Electronics.
If you appreciate software-generated Freudian slips, the original OCR text had "Radio Shock" instead of Radio Shack, and "serving the notion since 1923" instead of "serving the nation since 1923."
Radio Shack CatalogThe Radio Shack Story
Radio Shack Corporation of Boston, Massachusetts is one of America's big 3 distributors of things electronic to the general public, industry, craftsmen and hobbyists. We offer a complete selection of precision built products by mail, through stores, and direct to manufacturers. Our exclusive REALISTIC® line of electronic products is famous nationwide for its high quality, dependable service and fine values. Our selection of national brand products is the largest in America.
Radio Shack Corporation has been serving the nation since 1923 - from the very beginning of the electronic age. This year over 2,000,000 people - music devotees, ham operators, amateurs and professionals - will shop from our catalog because they get the most value for every penny they spend on their favorite products ... they will buy on the easiest terms, cash or credit ... they are assured by our guarantee of getting the most satisfaction on every purchase. Radio Shack Corporation invites you and your friends to get your share of these savings and satisfaction by mailing the card opposite today.
Posted March 13, 2013