Roberts Model R200 Transistor Radio (1961)


I picked up this interesting early 1960s transistor radio during a visit to England in the summer of 2000. I paid 20 pounds for the set, which is in good cosmetic and electronic condition. It even came with a good battery!

Roberts radios are plentiful in England, based on what we saw during our trip. I saw several sets of this type for sale in the range of 20 to 40 pounds, all in reasonable condition. Even more plentiful were the newer sets from the 1970s and later.

The design is conservative. Its clean lines evoke the 1950s in an understated, stylish manner. The wood cabinet with leatherette covering was available in a variety of colors. Mine happens to be a dark blue.

This is a basic two-band radio, covering the long-wave and medium-wave (Standard Broadcast, in the US) bands. The next photo shows the simple controls, with the power/band switch at the left, the tuner in the center, and the volume control at the right.

Inside the cabinet is a seven (I think) transistor radio, powered by a single type PP9 9-volt battery. It uses an internal ferrite loop antenna. The next shot shows the interior.

The speaker is fairly large for a radio of this size and the overall construction is robust. Two wires lead from the chassis to a large connector in the hinged back panel. I have been told this is for connecting an auto antenna. (As an interesting side note, my Blaupunkt Derby is another portable radio designed even more expressly for use in a car or home.)

A thoughtful feature of this radio is the rotating turntable at the bottom of the cabinet. It allows you to easily swivel the radio in the best direction for optimum reception.

Included inside the set was the original guarantee card, which states that the radio was manufactured by the Roberts Radio Co., Ltd, of Creek Road, East Molesbury, Surrey. It was sold on December 5, 1961, at the Radio Electric Company, Ltd., of Wimbledon, to a Dr. E.E.S. (anonymous), C.B.E., D.F.C., T.D., M.R.C.S., of Surbiton, Surrey. It's always fun to get some of the original documentation for an older radio.

In a house full of collectible radios, this is the only one made in England. Although it is not especially rare or precious in its country of origin, it is special to me as a reminder of the delightful time that we had vacationing there in the year 2000.

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