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2004/61/1 Transistor radio and packaging, incorporating a toilet roll holder, Model E-1077, plastic / metal / cardboard, Shibuya, Hong Kong, 1960 - 1975. Click to enlarge.

Radio toilet roll holder

Made in Hong Kong, 1960-1975.
This toilet roll holder with radio is a good example of the type of novelty radio that was popular during the 1960s and 70s.

The transistor was discovered in the late 1940s and initially the devices were not widely used due to their expense, and the fact that valves performed better for the use in radio receivers. However by the early 1960s portable transistor broadcast radios were hitting the market. These radios were ideal for broadcast reception on the long and medium wave bands. They were much smaller than their valve equivalents, they were portable and powered by batteries.

In 1957 Sony produced the first pocketable transistor radio and it was a worldwide success and till the mid 1960s a large variety of models in all shapes, sizes and colours were produced by dozens of large and small Japanese manufacturers. The trasistor radio transformed the way radio was regarded and used. The radio was transformed from a home accessory, controlled by the head of the family to a personal piece of equipment that could be taken anywhere by each individual.

This toilet radio is a good example of this 'go anywhere' technology, now each member of the family could listen to their choice of broadcast even in the bathroom. Parents wouldn't have to miss the news or sports broadcast and the children needn't miss their favourite hit.

Radio and personal stereos for the bathroom are still available today, some even made waterproof for use in the shower.


Object No.


Object Statement

Transistor radio and packaging, incorporating a toilet roll holder, Model E-1077, plastic / metal / cardboard, Shibuya, Hong Kong, 1960 - 1975

Physical Description

Radio - Moulded white plastic casing with enclosed AM radio. Small cut out grid on left side for speaker and two control knobs on right. Top for tuning and lower for volume and on/off. Battery casing on top and fitting for toilet roll on bottom. SHIBUYA name plate on front.

Instructions: folded leaflet printed on white paper titled 'AM Toilet Radio Operating Instructions'.

Packaging - White folded cardboard box colour printed with a picture of the radio on front and back and installation instructions on the sides. Other packaging included a clear plastic bubble wrap envelope.

Instructions are a colour printed leaflet on white paper folded into three.


Box: 'Printed in Hong Kong'.



Hong Kong 1960-1975


Manufactured in Hong Kong by Shibuya between 1960 -1975.

Cite this Object


Radio toilet roll holder 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 15 August 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Radio toilet roll holder |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=15 August 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Collection Gallery 2 at the Museums Discovery Centre.


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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