Tranny Bag: Take Your Radio to the Beach

By Gareth Watkins (Radio Collection Developer, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

May the sunny weather never end…

1ZM-summer-of-74

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision has recently acquired a set of 1970s promotional material from 1ZM, including this plastic “Tranny Bag” for taking your transistor radio to the beach.

Here’s an example of a 1970s transistor radio:

Vintage Panasonic Portable FM-AM Radio With Quartz Clock, Model RF-016, Made In Japan, Circa 1978. Photo by Joe Haupt from USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Vintage Panasonic Portable FM-AM Radio With Quartz Clock, Model RF-016, circa 1978. Photo by Joe Haupt, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Transistor radio design was varied and creative – we’re still trying to work out how you would fit Mickey’s ears into the bag!

Vintage Mickey Mouse 2 transistor radio By Gabriel Toy Co., c. 1960s. Photo by Joe Haupt, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Vintage Mickey Mouse 2 transistor radio by Gabriel Toy Co., c. 1960s. Photo by Joe Haupt, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
The “Tranny Bag” dates from 1974. It was deposited along with a set of other 1ZM and 1ZB branded material from the same era. Among these are: playing cards, an over-sized novelty pencil, and a pen holder.

1ZM

1ZM was part of a three-station New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation music network that was established in 1973. In Auckland 1ZM broadcast on 1250 kHz, in Wellington on 1130 kHz, and Christchurch on 1400 kHz. The network was sold to The Radio Network (now NZME) in 1996, and has since grown to cover 20+ markets.

But 1ZM’s history goes right back to the late 1920s, when Bill Rodgers founded it as a private station in Manurewa – then a farming village south of Auckland. The station was later acquired by the government and moved into the 1941 Art Deco Broadcasting House building that also housed 1ZB.