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Vol.1 : A 50 year-old Package

Just a box, but still a box ... packing 50 years of history

Nowadays, perhaps under the influence of collectibles appraisal shows on TV, a box package suggests the content, whether it's china or a tin toy, is expensive. But that hasn't always been the case. Back in the day, they had no idea a box package itself would have such symbolism. They would have assumed the box would be thrown away once it had been opened. Which is why the box package itself has acquired its own value. Last year, Sony celebrated the 50 anniversary of the 1955 launch of the first transistor radio, TR-55. Sony has kept a model. The TR-55 is regularly featured in magazines and books on Sony's history.

The TR-55 and its box package.
The sepia colored photo on the left is from the product announcement.

One day, a customer offered to donate the TR-55's box package to Sony Archives! We were used to seeing the radio but we had never seen the box package, not even a photo. We couldn't wait.

The result was... modern! Time has taken some toll on the box itself but what a modern design for 50 years ago! The box was probably much bigger than the TR-55 because it also included the carrying case, ear phones and antenna cord.

The TR-55 was the first product to carry the Sony brand name - the company itself was still called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo. You can see the very first Sony logo on the box.

So - does this box look retro or modern to you?

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