December 08, 2008

Nerd alert! Radio Shack catalog archive spotted

I admit it—as a kid, I used to spend hours sifting through Radio Shack's mammoth annual catalogs, dreaming of hi-fi tower systems (with dual cassette decks!), TRS-80s (I called 'em "Trash 80s" too, but hey—they were still computers, and computers were cool), headphones, turntables, tuners, Walkmen (well, "Stereo-Mates," as Radio Shack called them) … you name it. I was even fascinated by the microphones (I'm pretty sure I got the $6.99 "Pencil-Type Dynamic" model from my parents), the turntable cartridges (like the Shure RXT4 with a dynamic stabilizer and "viscous dampening"—just $49.95!), and of course, wires, cables, and adapters galore.

So imagine my delight when Boing Boing Gadgets spotted this: an online archive of old Radio Shack catalogs, with issues ranging from 2003 all the way back to 1946. My favorite: the 1982 catalog, complete with airbrushed, feathered-haired models (some holding champagne flutes, others hugging puppies) posing with the latest in early-80s tech gear. And behold, the coolest Radio Shack offering of them all (on page 2): The Realistic CED-1 Video Disc Player, a CED player similar to the old RCA SelectaVisions, yours for a cool $499 (in 1982 dollars, mind you).


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