Out of the Rubble of WWII - Sanyo Rises Across Three Oceans!
A Brief History of Sanyo
Sanyo was founded in 1949, four years after the end of WWII in Osaka, Japan by Tosio Lue, who was an employee of Matsushita (Panasonic) and brother-in-law of Konosuke Matsishita. Sanyo later grew to be a fortune 500 Company, before being acquired by Panasonic in 2011.
In 1953, Sanyo manufactured the first plastic radio in Japan. Later, they made transistor radios, televisions, the ill-fated BetaMax player, and cell phones. Today, as a subsidiary of Panasonic, Sanyo is primarily known the manufacturing televisions.
1959 Model 8S-P3
Sanyo means "three oceans" in Japanese. It was the founder's ambition to sell products across Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans.
It wasn't until 1970 that Sanyo America was founded by Howard Ladd. Under Ladd, Sanyo acquired Fisher Electronics which became a leading audio electronics brand into the 80s.
By 2000s, Sanyo had become the largest worldwide manufacturer of NiMH rechargeable batteries used in early mobile devices.
How Many Mid-50's Japanese Vacuum Tube Radios Have You Seen Lately...
With Magic Eye?
How did this radio end up in USA?
This radio was probably an expensive model when it was new. It was probably not imported by any American store or dealer or available through retail. So, there's probably very few left in existence in USA. Maybe none except this one.
Going by the Sanyo logo, this radio looks like it was manufactured in the mid-50s. It is a large unit like a German Blaupunkt or Telefunken, not like any copy of an American radio.
It was probably brought over by a Sanyo executive prior to 1977 when Sanyo America headquarters was located in New York before Sanyo moved to Los Angeles.
Gimme More Switches and Lights!
As if big enough was not good enough, this radio has more than a half a dozen different color lights for different functions. AM, shortwave, phono, and tone switches turns on different color lights. Each of the tone settings; low, medium, and high also turn on different lights.
Magic Tuning Eye Sees What You're Listening To!
The tuning eye (also referred to as 'Magic Eye') is a real wonder as much as it is a curiosity. A neon-like green glow measures in radian area the receiving signal strength. A once latest-and-greatest technology gimmick that's practically forgotten nowadays. The radio tuning eye is an predecessor of the cathode ray tube used in TV's before LED TV screens became prevalent. Magic eyes are perhaps the earliest incarnation of a lighted electronic visual display.
(Example image clip of tuning eye - not this actual Sanyo radio tuning eye)
To find a tuning eye on a Japanese radio with all vacuum tube circuit, in such good condition, is rare.
Loud Like Mechagodzilla!
Like Godzilla's alien born doppleganger, this radio is loud like a Mechagodzilla (above center). AM only, no FM, and shortwave stations sound surprisingly clear and loud with excellent sensitivity. All tone range settings work as designed; high, medium, and low. But, if you're still not sure, there's three lights on the front grill to indicate which tone setting you've selected. How convenient!
All original matching knobs with all original felt rings behind each knob says the radio is a true original survivor of the rarest breed.
The original grill cloth is an unusual material almost seems like a predecessor of Chilewich designer vinyl mat extremely durable not prone to staining, rips or tears. Truly a space age material.
This radio is a five tube circuit. High quality audio sound comes out of twin 8" speakers!
See how clean and delicious it looks even from the back?