This 1973 RadioShack Catalog Is a blast from the past!
Updated by Endah
- 6:30 AM
Nerds really didn’t start getting the respect they deserve until the 1990s. Still, they always had a friend in RadioShack. As many an awkward child of the 70s and 80s can attest, “The Shack” always catered to whatever nerdy inclination or pursuit you might have, be it semiconductors or short-wave radios.
Granted, the chain has had some trouble adapting to the times — a fact highlighted in its latest self-effacing Super Bowl ad (Look, it’s ALF!). But that stuck-in-time nostalgia is also part of RadioShack’s charm. As anyone who frequented the store or paged through one of its catalogs knows, the franchise was more than just bins of batteries and RCA cables: It was also a training ground for today’s geek elite and a harbinger of our hyper-connected world of smartphones and social networking.
Where else could you scratch that DIY itch by buying the tools and supplies neccessary for merging your transistor radio with your walkie talkie? And what’s a CB radio or walkie talkie if not a instructional manual for a future smartphone engineer?
Today, those nerdy RadioShack regulars from the 70s are adults. And we’re willing to bet at least some of them had a hand in bringing everything from your tablet to the streaming music service you use on it to life. Would they have done the same had there not been a store that helped cultivate an obsession with semiconductors and radios? Perhaps. But as this 1973 RadioShack catalog demonstrates, they had plenty of help in the inspiration department.