A Transistor Museum Interview with Ray Andrejasich

Recollections of Early Transistor Radio Technology

at Zenith Radio Corporation 


Oral History – Ray Andrejasich



For 20 years, from 1957 to 1977, Ray was involved with transistor radio technology at Zentih Radio Corporation, the premier American consumer electronics company of the time.  His tenure there saw many transitions:


·         Transistor technology evolved dramatically from the early germanium alloy junction devices used in the first Royal 500 radios of the mid 1950s to the sophisticated silicon transistors and integrated circuits used in 1970s products.

·         The America radio industry, and Zenith specifically, fought a long and ultimately losing battle to compete against the low cost imports from such Far East countries as Hong Kong and Japan.  As a senior technical manager at Zenith during the 60s/70s, Ray was directly involved in this historic business and technology struggle.

·         On a personal note, Ray’s 20 year career at Zenith reflected an ever increasing range of professional and technical growth, from a newly graduated electrical engineer in 1957 to the senior technical manager with complete responsibility of product from production to start of production.


The Transistor Museum™ is indebted to Ray for his support during the development of this Oral History.  Ray’s detailed and personal recollections about the Zenith transistor radio story will add greatly to the understanding of an important chapter in transistor history.



Ray worked in the electronics industry for an additional 18 years after leaving Zenith Radio Corporation.   You can find specifics of this important work, including 13 patents, at this link:


Go To Andrejasich Oral History, Page 10



Oral History – Ray Andrejasich


Additional References for Zenith Transistor History


1)  Smith, N.R. 1998. “Zenith Transistor Radios - Evolution of a Classic”.  Atgen Pa. Schiffer Publishing Ltd.

This is the definitive text on Zenith transistor radio history.  Norm had access to Zenith historical records and interviewed Zenith employees to get first-hand information in writing this book.  You’ll also find numerous photos and a lucid writing style.   


2) Bob McGarrah Zenith R500 Webpage


Bob’s website on transistor history is highly regarded and is lauded as one of the best on the net.  He has documented a unique photographic and factual story of the famed Royal 500.  While at Bob’s site, be sure to see his spectacular photography for other aspects of transistor history.  Highly recommended! 


3)  Zenith Transistor Radio Repair Website


Jim Barnard, W4BRX, has developed a terrific website with the stated purpose:  A WEBSITE DEVOTED TO COLLECTORS AND RESTORERS OF ZENITH TRANSISTOR RADIOS.  There are some great photos, Zenith repair information and a really helpful cross reference list for those inscrutable Zenith “121” numbers.  In addition, Jim has uploaded a complete slideset of Ray’s 1996 presentation on Zenith transistor history.  Thanks, Jim, for your efforts on preserving Zenith history. 


4)  Link to Ray’s Zenith History Presentation at 1996 Quarterly Meeting of the Indiana Historical Radio Society (Webpages hosted by Jim Barnard)


Here is a direct link to Ray’s presentation hosted on Jim’s website.  



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