Regency transistor radio

Made by Regency Div. I.D.E.A. Inc. in Indianapolis, United States of America, 1954-1956.

This Regency TR-1 transistor radio was one of the earliest portable radios imported into Australia. It is significant for the way it combines science, design, and culture: the solid state physics that led to the development of the transistor; the aesthetics and functionality of the plastic radio body; and the portability that took radio out of the home and made listening to it more often an individual experience rather than a group activity.

Until the 1920s most radios sold in Australia were i...


Transistor radio, plastic / metal, made by Regency Division IDEA Inc, Indianapolis, United States of America, 1954-1956

This Regency transistor radio is of cream coloured plastic with a gold circular tuning dial marked with numbers representing signal frequency. The front has a square array of plastic holes covering mesh that sits over the speaker. At the front there is also a single knurled disc to control ON/OFF and volume, and the back opens to reveal the transistor circuitry and battery compartment. There is an earphone socket on the side.


127 mm
76 mm
32 mm


The radio was made in the USA between 1954 and 1956.

In 1948 William Shockley, Walter Brattain and John Bordeen invented the first solid-state amplifier, which they named a 'transistor'. In July 1954 the Texas Instruments and Industrial Development Engineering Associates (I.D.E.A.) companies embarked on a six month project to produce a pocket-sized radio for the Christmas market. The result was the Regency TR-1, the world's first pocket transistor radio. The radio was designed by the firm Painter, Teague and Petertil.
Regency Div. I.D.E.A. Inc. 1954-1956

Cite this Object

Regency transistor radio 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 November 2017, <>
{{cite web |url= |title=Regency transistor radio |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Store 2 at the Museums Discovery Centre.
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