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Radio Shack: 1963

Boston, 1963. "Ralph Harris Co. -- Radio Shack." Purveyor of Raytheon and Realistic Lifetime Tubes as well as "Kodaks." 35mm negative. View full size.

Boston, 1963. "Ralph Harris Co. -- Radio Shack." Purveyor of Raytheon and Realistic Lifetime Tubes as well as "Kodaks." 35mm negative. View full size.


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Today’s Top 5


Looks like a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado, but the rectangular emblem doesn't seem to fit, and the exhaust looks a little different.

[Those are signs that it's a 1958 Eldorado. -tterrace]

[Yes, a 1958 Eldorado Seville. Those are backup lights in the bumper. - Dave]

Into the Tank

Radio Shack was the first important computer store and they blew it. I think they emphasized computer gaming instead of information and mathematic problem solving. In my own retail consumer electronics store we had no fear of sending a customer to them for batteries, phone jacks and other simple accessories, they did not have the ability to convert those consumers. This particular shop was a franchise owned by an existing retailer. Many of those franchisees will probably survive using their own acumen.

22 Bromfield Street

This address- within a block of the sites of several other Shorpy photos - has an unusual history. The building was completed in 1848. in 1850, it was one of the subordinate division meeting places of the Sons of Temperance. In 1862 it was the headquarters of the Emancipation League, which argued that abolishing slavery would end the war quickly. The narrow alley-like Bromfield Street would become Boston's retail camera center, akin to 47th Street in New York. While Ralph Harris Co. operated its photography business on street level, the Boston Joke, Trick, and Novelty Co. sold clever novelties one flight up. Later, street-level businesses sold stamps and coins, appraised diamonds. It was at this spot that the Bromfield Street Educational Foundation began in the late 1960s to publish newsletters serving the city's gay community. The building was largely gutted by a fire (attributed to arson) on July 7, 1982. However, its facade was preserved, and the restored structure is on the long list of Boston's designated historic landmarks.

I was here in 1955

As a sailor on a destroyer, I bought a pair of Raytheon CK722 transistors at this store in 1955. Experimenting with them back on the ship, I fried both within a day. The CK722 was the introduction of transistors to the common man.

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