Sunday, April 09, 2017

AMAZING: Consumer Electronics From Half a Century Ago

So I was helping clean up the residence of an elderly relative and came across some fascinating examples of early consumer electronics.

Top: The Zenith Space Commander Three Hundred is reportedly the first-ever, wireless television remote control. It "used mechanical switches underneath its four buttons that sent out ultrasound in different frequencies... A receiver on the television used those frequences to change the channel and the volume."

It was introduced about 60 years ago (circa 1956).

Right: Motorola transistor radio, vintage unknown. The first such radio offered to the public was the Regency TR-1, released in 1954, and cost $49.95 or roughly $450 in 2017 dollars.

I'm guessing this is a late fifties or early sixties model, but perhaps one of our expert commenters might be able to identify it more precisely.

Bottom: The Unisonic 931 was first manufactured in 1975. it offered 8 digits of precision and basic algebraic logic functions.

Left: The Zenith Space Command 1000 remote with a fancy, red Zoom function. This was the most modern of this quartet, manufactured around 1975.

It's hard to believe how far we've come; nowadays, an enterprising 12 year-old can control every appliance in a home from an iPhone.

Related: BadBlue Tech News.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"That's the way it was, and we liked it."