geoffstechno (geoffstechno) wrote,

radio day

Last night I received another gift. :-)

I use the smiley because I'm not sure my wife agrees that it is a gift. It was three ham radios from the 1960-1970s. They all use tubes, although one of them has 4 transistors in it. The first one is a Lafayette HA-350.

The HA-350 is a ham band only receiver. Lafayette was the competition to Radio Shack. At the time they sold the Ha-350 there was a going business in ham radios, parts for experiementers and CB radio. CB was less than 10 years old then and had still not "caught on". It was not until the cheap transistorized CBs of the 1970's did they become noticed.

During the 1976 oil shortage there was a US wide trucker's strike over the high price of gasoline. Although you needed a license to operate a CB, you did not need one to buy a radio, and almost every night every long haul trucker had one in his cab.

That's where Radio Shack and Lafayette diverged, both sold CBs, but Radio Shack specialized in them. This lead to Radio Shack being what it is today, a store that sells cell phones, cheap technology toys and satellite dishes.

Layfayette took another direction and was bought out by J.C. Penny. Penny made some big mistakes with the way they tried to expand the company and Lafayette folded and it's brands gone forever in about two years.
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