Electronic Memories of Radio Shack

By: 
December 18, 2014

Radio Shack
is laying off workers and closing stores in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy. The company is trying to save $400 million. The electronics retailer is reeling from a $161 million loss during the three-month period that ended November 1. The 93-year-old, 4,000-store company closed 175 stores this year and is looking to close an additional 1,000. We may be seeing the dying gasps of a company that once meant quite a bit to those interested in home electronics.

After beginning with one Texas store, the company branched out into the electronic catalog business. The first Radio Shack catalog came out in the early 1940s. The company entered the growing high-fidelity market in 1947, opening the nation's first audio showroom where people could compare amps, speakers, and turntables.

Another claim to fame was the proliferation of TRS-80 personal computers in the early 1980s. At one time, Radio Shack Computer Centers were bustling in every town. I remember seeing their lights on late into the evening as the company taught classes on how to run a computer.

I remember the electronic toys that began showing up in the 1960s. As recently as three years ago, I did some of my Christmas shopping at Radio Shack, seeking electronics for my kids. There were toys and games at Radio Shack that you couldn't find at Toys R Us or Target.

Here's a look through some of the iconic images from Radio Shack through the years. Click to start the slideshow

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