In fact, we did. When I was a boy back in '56-57, mom bought a Zenith
transistor radio. The thing was the size of a breadbox, weighed about
5-6lbs, and had a battery the size 2lb brick of cheese. Worked great.
By the early '60s, most transistor radios were the size of a pack of
ez-read playing cards and made in Japan.
As early as 1954 the Japanese had already cornered the tv market and
were flooding the USA with underpriced TVs through Sears and Wards.
Japanese housewives marched on the Ministry of Commerce(?) in protest
of Japan's dumping policies at the expense of Japanese taxpayers.
Americans could buy a TV cheaper than the Japanese.
This voracious marketing tactic (dumping) lasted for years, up through
stereo systems, cameras, motorcycles, and eventually cars. The
Japanese didn't exactly "copy", the took what we had innovated and
then dicarded and improved on it and created a manufacturing base that
blew us away. Yes, they out innovated us in some areas, cameras
lenses for one, but most of it was still copy/improvement and taking a
throw-away approach to keep prices competitive.
One perfect example is motorcycles. The japanese didn't invent
overhead cams. They just discovered a way to make them so the cam
turned in the bare aluminum head casting without the expense of bearings. Cheap,
effective, and tossable, so there was no point in rebuilding. Buy a
new one instead, and the Japanese design teams always had a new one
(or ten!) in the ready.
We had a Trans-Oceanic - used it 8000 miles or so southwest from here :-)
It allowed us to hear VOA and get skip out of the US from time to time.
The only station within 2000 miles was AFRS controlled.
The stainless with black made it a nice radio.
Which American manufacturer produced millions of transistor radios? The
first company to sell more than half a million transistor radios was Sony
and when I was a kid in the '60s I _never_ saw an American branded
transistor radio on the shelf or in anyone's hand.
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