Some see striking similarities between world’s first transistor radio and Apple iPod

“The Regency TR-1 transistor radio, made in 1954, had a decent claim to be a genuine piece of innovation… It was, by popular agreement, the world’s first commercially sold transistor pocket radio. Small enough to hold in your hand, and powered by batteries, it came in a variety of delicious colours, including green, pearlescent blue, lavender, white and red,” Susannah Cullinane writes for BBC News. “The device went on sale just in time for hip young gadget freaks to hear Elvis Presley singing That’s All Right – recognised by many as the moment at which rock’n’roll was born.”

Cullinane writes, “The TR-1 was marketed under the slogan ‘See it! Hear it! Get it!’ Hi-tech, trendy colours, rock music, punchy slogans… remind anyone of anything? When technology watcher John Ousby realised the modern day parallels, he knew he had to do something. ‘I did a bit of digging around,’ he says, ‘and found a good website on vintage electronics. I then matched photos of the transistor with photos of the iPod Mini.’ He then posted the above picture on the photo-sharing website Flickr. ‘Normally my photos there are viewed less than 100 times. But I was away for couple of days and came back to see there had been more than 15,000,’ he says.”

Cullinane writes, “The similarity between the two has ‘created quite a stir,’ he says, particularly in the Mac community. He is, however, at pains to point out that he believes the similarity between the 50s radio and the iPod mini is purely coincidental. Apple declined to comment.”

Full article here.

John Ousby Flickr posting here.
We don’t see it. wink


  1. I saw this yesterday, and wondered about the scale. Thanks for checking scottm4321. There is more than a passing resemblance with the photos scaled to look the same size. So, if the scale was changed, was the color tweaked also to support Cullinanes article?

  2. Split Enz were wrong when they said History Never Repeats….

    50 years – and Elvis still rocks! Yea!

    He still sounds better than most of the current crapola passed off as “music” these days! (except for Alicia Keys – she’s such a cutie… err…. talented artist).

  3. But the colours of the radios were much more subtle.
    Very few people liked the the sticky, Disney Land colours of the iPod minis here in Europe – except the silver one, which sold more than all the rest put together.

  4. The eMac has an amazing resemblance to a television in a scene from Back to the Future part 1 in Doc Emmet Brown’s workshop (time 52min 24sec) when they’re looking at the video tape. Check it out if you’ve got the time!

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