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About Radio Shack & Tandy
Man and Woman play chess with a Radio Shack chess computer.

Man and Woman play chess with a Radio Shack chess computer.

Can you guess which Radio Shack chess computer this is?

Picture taken from a Radioshack chess computer box.

RadioShack began in 1919 in Forth Worth, Texas, USA. with a chance meeting of two friends, Norton Hinckley and Dave L. Tandy. During this visit they decided to pool their resources together and start a business. The company was named the Hinckley-Tandy Leather Company and they sold leather shoe parts to shoe repair shops in the Fort Worth area.

Two years later two brothers, Theodore and Milton Deutschmann opened a one-store retail and mail order operation in Boston. They chose the name “RadioShack”. which was a term for the small, wooden structure that housed a ships radio equipment.

Beginning in 1921, RadioShack would grow to a handful of stores in the Northeast of USA., and become a leading electronics mail-order distributor to hobbyists.

Meanwhile, the Hinckley-Tandy Leather Company grew modestly through the years. Although the company survived the Great Depression, it was nearly crippled when World War II began in 1941. Shoes were rationed – two pairs per adult per year – and leather for civilian use virtually disappeared.

Mr. Tandy's oldest son, Charles D. Tandy joined the business in 1947. Charles firmly believed in the high gross-profit margins of the leathercraft business and the growth possibilities of the leisure-time hobby market. His views clashed with those of the family's partner, Norton Hinckley. The disagreement ended in a split in 1950 when Charles and his father formed Tandy Leather Company, while Hinckley kept the shoe business.

RadioShack continued to do quite well. It issued its first catalog in the early 1940s. In 1947, the company entered the growing high-fidelity market and opened the nation's first audio showroom that provided comparisons of speakers, amplifiers, turntables and phonograph cartridges. In the mid-1950s, RadioShack began selling its own private-label product line with the Realistic® brand name, a variation of Realist, which had been used earlier.

By the early 1960s, RadioShack had expanded to nine retail stores (plus a mail-order business) and was a leading distributor of electronic parts and products to do-it-yourselfers around the world. 

However, the company soon fell on hard times due to poor operating practices, coupled with a disastrous credit offering to its customers.

Charles Tandy, who had become intrigued with consumer electronics, saw the small RadioShack chain as an excellent opportunity for rapid growth. He bought the essentially bankrupt company in 1963 for the equivalent of $300,000 cash, and embarked on a plan that turned it into one of the great success stories of American retailing. Since then, RadioShack has grown to a nationwide network of retail stores, and its net sales and operating revenues have ballooned to $4.6 billion.

In 1975, Tandy Corporation became exclusively an electronics company after it spun off all other operations into Tandycrafts and Tandy Brands. In 1986, the company spun off its foreign retail operations into InterTAN, Inc.

The decade of the '70s was pivotal for RadioShack. It was a time of incredible growth – not only in the number of stores that were opened, but in the quantity, quality and sophistication of the products it offered.

Following on the heels of the phenomenal popularity of citizen-band (CB) radios, the company had another instant hit. In 1977, RadioShack introduced the first mass-produced personal computer: the TRS-80® microcomputer. In contrast to build-it-yourself units available at the time, the TRS-80 was fully wired and tested. Although a primitive machine by today's standards, it was a technological and price breakthrough, and overwhelming customer demand caused a production backlog that lasted for months. Over 200,000 TRS-80 Model I computers were sold from 1977 to 1981.

The '80s continued to make RadioShack the "biggest name in little computers," as the company's advertising proclaimed.

In 1983 RadioShack/Tandy introduced their first dedicated chess computers into their stores and their catalogs the “Tandy Computerized Chess”.

Each of the following years until today, RadioShack have continued to offer dedicated chess computers in their catalogs and in their stores, either branded under their own name and also on occasion under the names of other manufacturers.

Various excerpts taken from the RadioShack Home Page

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF CHESS PLAYING COMPUTERS! by Garry Kasparov - World Champion.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF CHESS PLAYING COMPUTERS! by Garry Kasparov - World Champion.

Picture taken from a Radio Shack Product Catalog.

Radio Shack & Tandy Collection
Drawing of two business men playing with a Radioshack portable chess computer while commuting.

Drawing of two business men playing with a Radioshack portable chess computer while commuting.

Picture taken from a Radioshack chess computer box.

60-2251 - 1986

60-2194 - 1985

60-2187 - 1983

60-2199 - 1986

60-2201 - 1987

1450 Sensory Pocket Chess

1650 Fast Response

1650 Portable Sensory Chess

1850 Deluxe Version A

1850 Deluxe Version B

RadioShack 1450 (1986) Electronic Chess Computer

Radioshack 1650 Fast Response (1985) Electronic Chess Computer

RadioShack 1650 Computerized Portable Sensory Chess  (1983)  Electronic Chess Computer

Radio Shack 1850 Deluxe Version A (1986) Electronic Chess Computer

Radio Shack Deluxe Verion B (1987) Electronic Chess Computer

Travel

Table Top

Travel

Table Top

Table Top

60-2201A - 1988

60-2725 - 2004

60-2843 - 1999

60-2204 - 1988

60-2204A - 1988

1850 Deluxe Version C

2-In-1 Chess & Checkers

4-in-1 Chess & Checkers

Champion 2150 Version A

Champion 2150 Version B

Radio Shack Deluxe Version C (1988) Electronic Chess Computer

RadioShack 2-in-1 Chess & Checkers (2004)  Electronic Chess Computer

Radioshack 4-in-1 Chess & Checkers (1999) Electronic Chess & Checkers Computer

Radio Shack Champion 2150 Model: 60-2204 (1988) Electronic Chess  Computer

Radio Shack Champion 2150 Model: 60-2204A (1988) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

Travel

Travel

Table Top

Table Top

Drawing of a boy playing with a Radioshack portable chess computer.

Drawing of a boy playing with a Radioshack portable chess computer.

Picture taken from a Radioshack chess computer box.

60-2254 - 1992

60-2215 - 1996

60-2439- 1994

60-2216 - 1997

60-2845 - 2001

Champion 2150L

Champion 2250XL

Companion Version A

Companion Version B

e-Chess

RadioShack Champion 2150L (1992) Electronic Chess Computer

Radio Shack Champion 2250 XL (1996) Electronic Chess Computer

Radio Shack Companion Version A (1994) Electronic Chess Computer

Radio Shack Companion Version B (1997) Electronic Chess Computer

Radio Shack e-Chess (2001) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

Table Top

Table Top

Table Top

Travel

60-2730 - 2004

60-2742 - 2005

60-2427 - 1993

60-2168 - 1981

60-2213 - 1996

e-Chess & Checkers

e-Chess Express

Go Chess Computer 1650L

LCD Graduate Chess

Master 2200X

RadioShack e-Chess & Checkers (2004) Electronic Chess Computer

RadioShack e-Chess Express (2005) Electronic Chess Computer

Radio Shack GO Chess Computer 1650L (1993) Electronic Chess Computer

Tandy LCD Graduate Chess (1981) Electronic Chess Computer

RadioShack Master 2200X (1996) Electronic Chess Computer

Travel

Travel

Table Top

Travel

Table Top

Drawing of two young people playing with a Radioshack portable chess computer.

Drawing of two young people playing with a Radioshack portable chess computer.

Picture taken from a Radioshack chess computer box.

60-2217 - 1998

60-2441 - 1994

60-2428 - 1994

60-2428A - 1996

60-2256 - 1993

Master Chess Computer

Mega 2050X

Partner 1680X Version A

Partner 1680X Version B

Pocket Chess 1100L

RadioShack Master Chess Computer (1998) Electronic Chess Computer

Radio Shack Mega 2050X (1994) Electronic Chess Computer

Radio Shack Partner 1680X Version A (1994) Electronic Chess Computer

Radio Shack Partner 1680X Version B (1996) Electronic Chess Computer

RadioShack Pocket Chess 1100L (1993) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

Table Top

Table Top

Table Top

Travel

60-2252 - 1991

60-2444 - 1996

60-2426 - 1993

60-2253 - 1991

60-2255 - 1992

Portable 1650L

Portable 1750L

Sphinx Madrid Model 1300

Super 1680L

Talking Chess Tutor 1900L

Radioshack Portable 1650L (1991) Electronic Chess Computer

RadioShack Portable 1750L (1996) Electronic Chess Computer

RadioShack Sphinx Madrid Model 1300 (1993) Electronic Chess Computer

RadioShack Super 1680L (1991) Electronic Chess Computer

Radio Shack Talking Chess Tutor 1900L (1992) Electronic Chess Computer

Travel

Travel

Table Top

Table Top

Table Top

RADIO SHACK PRODUCT FEATURES FOR ELECTRONIC CHESS GAMES.

RADIO SHACK PRODUCT FEATURES FOR ELECTRONIC CHESS GAMES.

Picture taken from a Radio Shack Product Catalog.

60-2709 - 2002

60-2846 - 2002

60-2160 - 1980

60-2219 - 1999

Talking E-Chess Version A

Talking E-Chess Version B

Tandy Computerized Chess

Travel Chess & Checkers

RadioShack Talking E-Chess Version A (2002) Electronic Chess Computer

RadioShack Talking E-Chess Version B (2002) Electronic Chess Computer

Tandy Computerized Chess (1980) Electronic Chess Computer

Radioshack Travel Chess & Checkers (1999) Electronic Chess Computer

Travel

Travel

Travel

Travel

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