Emerson Model 888 "Pioneer" Transistor Radio (1958)

When I spotted this large, early transistor radio in its original box, I could hardly believe my eyes. It's rare enough to find old transistors in such nice condition, and finding one still with its box is a real treat. It even has the original earphone, which apparently was never unwrapped.

The cabinet has no scratches or chips and the electronics are like new, as well. The only thing that I've done with this radio is to give it a light polish.

Standing about eight inches tall, this radio is considerably larger than the shirtpocket transistor sets that became popular in the late 1950s and 1960s. A swinging handle can be used to carry the set or to stand it up on a table. It runs on 6 volts, taking four AA batteries. With a good-sized speaker inside, its tone is pretty impressive.

The radio does use a circuit board, although some of its components, such as the volume control, are not as miniaturized as in later transistors.

Emerson manufactured a series of Model 888 transistors during the late 1950s and early 1960s, naming them after US space rockets of the time. In addition to the Pioneer, there were Atlas, Explorer, Galaxy, Satellite, Titan, and Vanguard models, all built along similar lines but with different cabinets.

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