Back in 1959 Joe Bidwell of Tucson, AZ saved his pennies to buy his first transistor radio. He still owns the Motorola and fondly remembers the freedom he felt listening to music with a radio he could fit in his pocket.
He watched the transistor revolutionize electronics, paving the way for personal computers, space travel and much more. Then about ten years ago Joe bought a Regency TR-1 at an online auction site. The TR-1 was the first transistor radio made in 1954. His has a serial number of 2067, which Joe thinks seems very low.
Joe asks History Detectives host Tukufu Zuberi to find out whether he has the oldest transistor radio in existence.
Transistor Radio Patent
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Lafitte's Spyglass Did this spyglass really belong to a fearless cutthroat pirate?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Prison Plaque Were convicted felons responsible for bringing peace to Western Europe during World War I?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Whaling Ship Might a ship docked in Mystic Seaport, hold secrets to the Underground Railroad?
- Related Investigation PsychoPhone Did Thomas Edison make a machine to unlock the secrets of the dead?
- Related Investigation Manhattan Project Patent Was this drawing part of America's secret plans to fuel the atomic bomb?
- Also in Season 10 Fiery Cross What is the story behind this record?
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