What better device could a 1960’s guy have in his shirt pocket than a transistor radio blasting out tunes that sounded absolutely great on a two-inch speaker?
Pocket-sized transistor radios started getting affordable and common in the early 1960’s. Prior to that, they were bigger, many 1950’s vintage radios being about the size of a portable eight-track player (more on those to come!). But they were tiny compared to the tube-driven models of a few years before.
Transistors, invented in 1947, revolutionized the world as much as any other twentieth-century invention. When they started being utilized in electronic devices, radios and the like began shrinking!
It wasn’t long before transistor radios, powered by the ubiquitous nine-volt battery, were a common sight in shirt pockets and sitting on desks all over America. And they would be tuned to rock and roll stations, of course.
And you also used the monophonic earpiece. It provided as high-quality a sound as the built-in speaker ;-).
The music that came in over the AM stations back then simply didn’t need a better speaker than what came with the transistor radio, or its earbud. Sure, you could listen to records on a hi-fi, but just try lugging one to the beach.
The transistor radio was a familiar sight in the 60’s to those of us old enough to remember bell-bottoms, paisley shirts, and, of course, JFK.