One of the most common accessories for your transistor radio is the earphone. They made it possible for you to listen privately to your radio in bed, school, church, or anywhere.

I believe that earphones were originally sold as accessories. Some documentation listed them as options selling for around $6.95 (expensive in the late 50’s and 60’s).  However, sometime during the 60’s I think Zenith started including them with the radio, especially if you bought a gift set.

There are two main styles of earphones that Zenith offered, and several versions of each. The first style introduced in the 50’s was “on the ear”. This style gave the user the ability to hang the earphone over the top of the ear with a wire or plastic “clip” positioning the speaker at the ear opening. Later, a smaller “in the ear” style was introduced that relied on being inserted into the ear. This style remained the popular choice of the 60’s.

I have collected several versions of the early “over the ear” styles and they can be seen below.

One thought on “Earphones”

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